Friday, June 19, 2009

Kale Salad Recipe I Made Today!

Got this from the Whole Foods website - used some amazingly fresh organic Kale from my trip to Rainbow Grocery Wed night, and added some chopped organic gala apple and raw pine the fridge cooling as I type - can't wait to enjoy!!

Serves 6
The key to this salad is finely chopping the kale leaves. The finer they are, the more they will absorb the dressing and the easier they will be to eat. This salad is a great opportunity to practice good knife skills.

2 bunches kale leaves, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves very finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place kale leaves in a serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Pour over kale and toss to combine well. Taste and add more salt or chili powder if desired.

Per serving (about 4oz/110g-wt.): 130 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 3g protein

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Journaling Day 13 - Sunday 6/8/09

Took supplements at 8:15 AM w/ 20 oz. of water

Breakfast (9:45):
* 5 Organic Strawberries
* Same Breakfast Burrito as yesterday (see Journaling Day 12)

Lunch (1:30):
* Coconut Curry Veggies & Tofu
* Sauteed Green Beens
* 1/2 c Brown Rice
* 2 Arnold Palmers

Snack (5:00):
* Soaked Raw Almonds w/ Cinammon & Stevia
* Organic Braeburn Apple

Decided to stay at office until late since I got there late, so I worked until 7:00, and then decided to take a walk through beautiful Palo Alto and enjoy the rest of the day's sun. Walked for about 30 minutes - then went into Whole Foods to see what was on sale. Picked up some organic red leaf lettuce, red chard, dry black beans, salmon, and a few other misc. items. I also picked up a new Greends powder since I am running out of the one I had been having - here's the one I bought: I also got some Goji Berries, a new brand as well:

Walked the 10 mins back to the office, worked for another hour, and left around 9:00PM. I drank another 20 or so oz. of water. Normally I don't like staying at the office that late - but I got a lot done, and I knew I would be working virtually most of the week, so I was ok with it. Got home and I wasn't super hungry, so I decided to have a lighter dinner and prepared a yummy smoothie with a packet of this greens/chocolate protein meal drink I found at Whole Foods.

Dinner (9:30):
* 5 raw cashews
* Smoothie:
** 4 oz unsweetened soymilk
** 4 oz almond milk
** 1/2 banana
** 1 Tsp. Sprouted Flax Seeds
** 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
** 1 packet Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion (see nutrition breakdown below)

Took supplements at midnight, and heading to bed now...a little later than I wanted to, but get to sleep in a bit tomorrow...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Journaling Day 12 - Sunday 6/7/09

Lots of yoga - body is weary but so so happy ;-) Lots of wonderful philosophy and tantric study as enlightening. Got sun today! Made myself a healthy lunch and enjoyed it outside with my new "Kula" friends...2 Glasses of wine - but would have normally had more...I planned to have two and that's all I had. That is a win for me!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Journaling Day 11 - Saturday 6/6/09

Today was a beautiful day ;-) This weekend is the second of 6 Anusara yoga immersion weekends - 9 hours of Anusara yoga practice and philosophy/spirituality study. This morning I was slightly nervous - since the last weekend we had done a 5-6 hour practice each day that was incredibly challenging and left me sore for a few days after...but thankfully today started with a half day of philosophy and spirituality study - so we didn't get to the asana practice until the afternoon - and I felt challenged, but safe and totally competent...

I woke up and took my supplements with 20 oz. of water. I knew I would need some energy today, so I decided to add some grains to my diet.

Breakfast (9:30):
* Power Smoothie
* 1/2 c Steel Cut Oatmeal
* 5 Blackberries
* Splash of Soymilk

I packed a power salad and some sprouted almonds (raw almonds soaked in water, stevia, cinammon adn orgnic vanilla extract). We had a break around 12:00 and had a snack:

Morning Snack (12:00):
* half the bag of almonds (about 15 almonds)
* 1 cup of caffeine free orange spice tea

Had 16 oz of water throughout the morning session. Decided to go to the Organic Thai place downstairs for a delicious lunch and save my salad for an afternoon snack.

Lunch (2:15):
* Green Curry Vegetables
* Brown Rice
* Plain Iced Tea

Afternoon Snack (7:30)
* Remainder of the Almonds (about 15 almonds)

I ate the almonds as soon as we got out of class - to tied me over until I got home to make dinner. On my way home, I stopped and went shopping to Trader Joe's - got some produce, nuts, gluten-free granola and a couple of other staples. I decided I would have the portobellos I had bought earlier in the week, and decided to accompany it with some sweet potatoes ;-) I was really proud of myself - as soon as I got home, I got to prepping dinner, and while the mushrooms and sweet potatoes cooked, I lit some candles and took a wonderful epsom salt bath to relax my muscles...felt wonderful!

Dinner (9:30):
* Baked Sweet Potato spears w/ olive oil, celtic sea salt & pepper
* 2 Med. Portobello mushrooms w/ olive oil, celtic sea salt, pepper & splash balsamic
* Power salad (the one I had packed in the morning)
* 1 oz. herb goat cheese
* 10 Multi-seed crackers (gluten free)
* 1 Glass Sangiovese red wine

I ate dinner and am now just watching TV - about to head to bed...plan on waking up around 8:00 and reading for about an hour then heading out around 9:45 for day 4 of the excited!! ;-) I didn't get much sun - a few minutes at lunch time - but I will definitely do that tomorrow - I plan on taking a walk at lunch...Just had 16 oz. water and heading to bed. good night!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Journaling Day 11 - Friday 6/5/09

A little groggy getting up this morning - decided not to go to yoga class and slept in until almost 9:00 ;-o But once I got up I felt really good! I took my supplements with my 20 oz. of Water and decided to weigh myself out of curiosity (I know I shouldn't more than once a week, but I couldn't help it!) - have lost 4 pounds since last Saturday at the doctor's office...granted I was on my 2nd day of my period then, but still - that feels good!

Breakfast (10:00 AM):
* Power Smoothie
* 5 Raw Cashews

Started checking emails and working on a project, debating going into the office or not...

Journaling Day 10 - Thursday 6/4/09

Good start to the day - woke up around 8:15 and jumped on a conference call around 8:45.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Journaling Day 9 - Wednesday 6/3/09

I became a US citizen today!! ;-) Check out my other blog for the details...As I mentioned last night - I didn't like that I didn't get enough sleep - seems to be a pattern lately...I realize I have a habit of late night TV watching which I would like to cut down - and just in general, I think I try to cram entirely too much into my day - into my life!! Will work on managing that...and prioritizing a bit better.

Because I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep - I ended up waking up a little later than I wanted to which shortened my morning and didn't give me time to make a good breakfast. I did the best I could but ate it in the car which I hate doing!

Breakfast (8:00 AM):
* 1 c. Organic Multi-Grain Flaz Cereal (Nature's Path)
* 1 c. Unsweetened Organic Soymilk
* 1/2 c. Fresh Blackberries & Strawberries
* 5 Raw Cashews

The ceremony was pretty cool ;-) I had been in a bit of a funk yesterday and somewhat this morning - feeling a little homesick and kinda bummmed no one could be at the ceremony with me...but my aunt gave me a pep talk last night and made me feel better. As soon as I got to the ceremony, I was more excited than bummed, but I still wished I could have had someone to share the moment with. I would normally "celebrate" in some way that includes food and/or alcohol - but I resisted my urge to go out to eat and drove straight home to prepare myself a delicious and nutritious lunch ;-) On the way I had a snack that I had packed for myself:

Snack (12:00):
* Raw Cashews, Almonds & Pepitas
* Organic Braeburn Apple

Lunch (1:30):
* 16 oz Water
* 1/2c Black Beans w/ Pico de Gallo
* 1 Tbsp Hummus
* 2 Eggs Scrambled w/ Zucchini & Onions

After lunch - same as yesterday - sort of hit a wall and didn't feel like doing much...I felt really unproductive, and unmotivated to do much. Maybe it's the supplements? Maybe my body adjusting to no caffeine, sugar, etc.?? Maybe I'm just tired! My instinct was to beat myself up for being "bad", but I decided to just listen to my body and took a 45 minute nap. I got up at 3:00 to get on a conference call - felt a little better afterwards and actually started to get some energy back. I worked until 6:00 and decided to go for a walk and enjoy the rest of the day's sun. I did some yoga for about 15 minutes, then went for a 30 minute powerwalk. I came home to get ready to head over to my friend's house for drumming lessons - I've been doing weekly conga lessons for the past month and a half or so...but had not gone the last two times and was hesitant because it usually involves having a drink or two, and one of my friends smokes pot - so it's there as well. But I felt confident going there and not I thought the drumming and the company would be good for the soul ;-). My friend called and asked if I wanted to join them for dinner in San Mateo beforehand, but I was good and decided to make myself a healthy dinner instead.

Dinner (7:30):
* Power Smoothie w/ 1/2 pear

I'm proud to report I went over there, had a great drumming session, and even better conversation, and drank 3 glasses of water. So proud of myself and even more proud that I came home early, and went to bed my midnight in time to wake up with 8 hours of sleep for the first time in a while...good day!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Journal Day 8

Today has been fabulous and so far right on track...went to bed at 11:30 last night and woke up at 8:00 - only waking up once in the night but fell right back asleep. Took my supplements first thing when I awoke (Day 4), plus 20 oz of water. Got ready for the day and to head to Berkeley for my Yoga class. The class/community put together a bunch of meals for a couple in the community that just had a baby and is unable to afford time and money for meals right now - so I offered to help and made a delicious organic salad for them.

Breakfast (9:00 AM):
* Power Smoothie (see recipe on the right) to which I added half a pear.
* 16 oz water on my way to class.

I got to Berkeley and had a wonderful Anusara practice from 10-11:45. Then debated coming right home for lunch or treating myself to this Organic Thai place I've been eyeing downstairs from my yoga studio...decided on the Thai ;-)

Lunch (12:30):
* Red Curry Vegetables w/ Tofu
* 3/4 c Brown Rice
* 1 Iced Tea w/ 1 packet Stevia
* 16 oz. Water

I got home around 2:30, and got to work (about time!). I found it difficult to focus - and started feeling a little tired...wierd.

Snack (4:00):
* 2 Handfuls Raw Cashews
* 1 Organic Braeburn apple
* 2 Squares Organic Dark Chocolate w/ almonds (Trader Joe's)
* 16 oz water

Dinner (7:45):
* 4 oz. Red Snapper Ceviche (leftovers)
* 1 Super Salad

Dessert (9:00):
* 2 Trader Joe's mini Chocolate soy ice cream sandwiches
( I was only going to have one, but I was weak ;-( they really are small though - only 90 calories each! and I was good all day...;-) no excuses - just won't do it again...soon anyway!)

Went to bed a little later than I wanted to because I had a lot to do for tomorrow -it's a big day - I become a US citizen tomorrow ;-) So I was a little nervous and ended up staying up until 12:30 and have to wake up at 6:30...not ideal - but will work on that the rest of the week. Also didn't get to get much sun today...other than being outside in/out of the car, etc...didn't get to go for a walk or get direct sun, so for sure tomorrow!

My Food Tracking is on Twitter! ;-)

I was poking around a health blog the other day, and the gal who runs it gave me this awesome idea of setting up a twitter account to track your I set one up! The link and feed is on the left - you can sign up to follow my "Tweets" or just come back to this blog to see the latest posts right here. Will help me tremendously when I'm on the fly and just have enough time to post the logistics of what I'm eating and when...go Twitter!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Journaling Day 7 - Monday 6/1/09

Today started off very tough. Last night I didn't get to bed until 1ish because I had so many things to do to prep for the week, and I had to get up at 6:30 to be in the office by 7:30 for our 8:00 staff meeting, so I already knew I wasn't going to be getting enough sleep. But to make matters worse - I wasn't able to go to sleep for 30-45 minutes, and then woke up 3 different times throughout the night. I was so frustrated, and that is totally not like me at all - if you know me you know that I have never had any trouble falling or remaining asleep ;-) So...maybe it's the supplements? The stress? A combination of the two most likely...

I took my supplements first thing in the morning with 20+ oz of water. I had to take my breakfast on the go so I could wait the full hour. Didn't have time to make/prepare anything decent - so I took the last of my trader joe's lowfat granola and a cup of organic, unsweetened soymilk. I ate that with about 5 organic strawberries around 8:00 AM. Around 10:00 I started feeling hungry, so I had a glass of water (16 oz.) and a small bag of raw cashews, almond and pepitas that I brought from home. I drank another 16 oz. of water about an hour later.

I got busy working after our meeting, so didn't have lunch until 1:45 at which point I was starving. Went to Pluto's with my co-worker and had a full mixed green salad with beets, carrots, roasted almonds, tomatoes, soy beans, corn, and blue cheese crumbles w/ a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. Also had the slice of italian/focaccia bread they serve with it...too hungry and it's too good ;-) Another 16 oz of water.

Afternoon Snack:
Around 3:30, I started getting a mini craving for either something sweet or I made myself a green tea instead, and succumbed to two mini chocolate biscotti and 1 tsp of organic peanut butter. Not the best, but I am proud of myself for not going after the huge chocolate chip cookie at Peet's like I would have normally...

I worked at the office until about 4:00 and then went home to try to take a nap. I layed down but only dozed off for about 20 mins - I think I felt guilty since I never take naps - especially with so many things to I watched the rest of the Julia Ross video and answered some emails. Around 6:30 I was hungry, so I ate a sprouted wheat tortilla w/ about 1 c. home-cooked black beans, 1 tbsp hummus, pico de gallo, mixed greens, shredded carrots and 2 slices of avocado. This has become my new favorite snack - so satisfying and perfectly filling! I started feeling a little more energized, and realized the sun was still out - so I decided to go for a walk. I walked in the hills by my house for about 45 minutes and felt a lot better afterwards...Then I headed to Trader Joe's to buy some produce (organic mixed greens, soy beans, beets, tomatoes, lemons, limes) and came home to prepare dinner and do some studying.

Dinner: (9:30)
I had purchased some red snapper at Whole Foods the other day, so I decided to prepare a version of Peruvian ceviche - I basically cured the snapper in lime juice with some red onions and peruvian aji (pepper) - had that with the same mixed salad from the night before - for a light but delicious and satisfying dinner. Had another 20 oz of water througout the night.

I took my supplements around 10:45, then made myself some "relaxing tea" and journaled. I'm going to stretch for a few minutes now and head off to bed...will be getting a full 8 hours (hopefully) ;-)

Journaling Day 6 - Sunday 5/31

Walked Crystal Springs trail - 4 miles in almost exactly 1 hour - it was beautiful and it felt really good to get out in the sun and move my body. Hadn't been walking or doing much cardio for the past couple of weeks, so it was needed. At 7:00 - I went to a potluck and lecture put on by the SF Vegetarian Society here in San Mateo - I was curious and was hoping to learn some new recipes and ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet. I am glad I went - they already want me to come to the next event and help promote it, so I think I may have a new group of friends ;-)

Journaling Day 5 - Saturday 5/30

Blah...hungover and blah ;-(

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Journaling Day 4

I have been a little remiss in blogging - I tend to get out of my routine on the weekends...lots going on. Truth be told - what really threw me off was Friday night - I went to the Giants game with a friend of mine and drank. I actually drank way too much. I'll share my day so you can get a sense of how it led to overdrinking...

I started the day great - wasn't able to go to yoga as I had planned, but decided I would come home early from the office and get in a workout before leaving for the city.

Breakfast (9:30)
2 scrambled eggs w/ 1 orange sweet pepper & green onions
1 piece of sprouted wheat bread toast
1 tsp of hemp seed butter
1 tsp strawberry preserves

I got the office around 10:15 and had a bunch of random errands and things to get done before I left. I felt slightly unfocused and not terribly productive. I had a double shot of espresso around 11:15 w/ some soy milk creamer and 1/2 packet of stevia. I also had about 4 mini chocolate biscotti - not happy with myself, but I noticed I was feeling anxiuos, which is when I've noticed I crave sweets. They were kinda stale and not very satisfying - but it was the sweetness that I wanted - to help soothe me...same reason I crave the coffee - but I have noticed that it does the opposite! It makes me feel jittery sometimes and even more restless.

Before lunch, I had about 16 oz. of water, and then an organic green salad I brought from home just like the one I prepared last night for dinner(see day 4) plus 4 oz. of cooked black beluga lentils and 1 tbsp of hummus. It was good, and satisfying.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Journaling Day 3

Woke up feeling relieved my final is over and feeling very energized and focused on health and taking care of myself. I drank 16 oz of water first thing, and closed the door to my room so I could meditate for 10 minutes. Then I did about 5 more minutes of visualization - me in my ideal state of health, and the perfect mate by my side ;-) Not perfect - but at least it's a start, and I'm committing to spending those 15 minutes every morning.

Breakfast (8:30):
Shake -
1 c Clearvite Sugarfree powder (Apex Energetics)
1 c organic unsweetened Almond Milk
3 Leaves fresh organic Kale
1 c Organic Frozen Blueberries & Strawberries
7 Fresh Blackberries
1 Tbsp Hempseeds
1 tsp Goji Berries
1 Tbsp Sprouted Flax Seeds

1 c Rolled Oats/Oatmeal w/ 1 packet Stevia

Mid Morning Snack (11:00):
Double Espresso w/ splash half & half and 1 Packet Stevia
2 Mini Chocolate Biscotti Bites

Lunch (1:30):
1 Organic Mixed Green Salad w/ Tomato, Mozzarella & Balsamic Vinaigrette from Whole Foods
2 Handfuls Raw Cashews, Almonda & Pepitas
2 Squares Organic Dark Chocolate w/ Almonds

Afternoon/Pre-workout Snack (6:20):
Handful Raw Almonds & Cashews

After work I decided to check out a new class at Equinox - Latin Dance Groove - and so glad I did! I have been needing to dance for a while now, and it felt so good to move my body, feel sexy and break a sweat ;-) After the gym I went to Trader Joe's for a few things I forgot yesterday and WHole Foods to pick up some dried beans - black beans and Lentils.

Dinner (9:45):
6 Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers (wheat/gluten free - Whole Foods)
1 oz herb goat cheese (Madame Chevre - Trader Joe's)
1 California Veggie Burger (Dr. Praeger's)
1 Tsp. Hummus
1 Salad w/ Organic Spring Mix Lettuce (Trader Joe's), Organic Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Carrots, Green Onions & Edamame
1 Tsp Sprouted Flax Seeds
1 Tsp Hemp Seeds
Dressing of Lemon Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Celtic Sea Salt & Pepper

Journaling Day 2

Retroactive post for yesterday - I was on the road most of the day driving home from Santa Ynez, then headed straight to work, crammed for and took my final at 6:30 - and then crashed on my couch til I passed out around 9:30! I belive I can recall my diet...

Breakfast (8:30):
16 oz Water
1 Organic Fuji Apple
1 c Kashi GoLean Crunch w/ Almonds cereal
1 c Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk
5 Fresh Strawberries

Mid Morning Snack (11:00):
1 c coffee w/ a splash of half & half and one packet Sugar in the Raw
1 Toasted Nuts & Cranberry Luna Bar

Lunch (2:00):
1 Veggie Burger w/ 1 Tbsp Hummus
Organic Red Leaf Salad w/ sprouted flax & hemp seeds
1 Square organic dark chocolate w/ Almonda

On my way home from taking my final - I stopped and walked about 15 minutes with my friend Sheila at a park near my home, then headed to Trader Joe's for some much needed grocery shopping. Bought all the staples and some good olive oil as Eve suggested. At Trader Joe's I had a sample of some new salad they're carrying, and a shot of their coffee w/ a pinch of raw sugar and a dash of lowfat milk.

Dinner (9:15):
1 Handful Raw Cashews and 10 Raw Almonds
4 oz. Black Beluga Lentils w/ 1 Tbsp Hummus & 1 Tbsp Salsa
Big Green Salad w/ Organic Red Leaf Lettuce & Arugula, organic cherry tomatoes, sprouted flax & hemp seeds

Overall - for an incredibly hectic day - I think I did pretty gosh darn good...normally would have stopped and had something not so great on the road - thought about buying a chicken salad sandwich at Starbuck's in King City - but decided I didn't need it!! Proud of me...and so happy that school is done! (for now)...;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Journaling Day 1

Today has been a wonderful day so far! Sunny, beautiful day - still down here in Santa Ynez visiting's harder and harder to leave every time...

As for food - it's a little tough to eat 100% well when I'm here - simply for the fact that I am not at my home and my mom doesn't necessarily stock the stuff I'm supposed to be having ;-) But I have done as well as possible. Woke up around 8:30 today, drank 16 oz of water over the course of a half hour as I prepped and then participated in a 60 minute conference call for work. Then I sat down for breakfast with my mom and had:

* 1 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch w/ Almonds
* 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
* 1/2 cup raw strawberries
* 1/2 cup coffee
* 1 tbsp half and half
* 1 splenda packet

I worked a little more - then at noon met my girlfriend Michelle for her lunch break and went to a great sandwich/salad place called Panino and had:
* 1 Curry Chicken Salad salad on a bed of mixed greends & balsamic dressing
* 1 Plain unsweetened iced tea

I then went over to my aunt's house she just bought and spent some time hanging out with her. She offered me a drink and I just had water - another 16 oz. I was craving something sweet, so she offered me her candy drawer. I opted against the candy and decided to have a small peruvian chocolate that has peanuts in it - comporable in size to two mini candy bars. Not the best - but satisfying ;-) I spent 15 minutes outside in her backyard admiring her growing garden and just sitting out on the back deck.

I then focused on studying for the rest of the afternoon. I drank another 16 oz. of water, and around 5:00, I had an organic gala apple, and wanted to have some nuts or almond butter with it but it was not available. 20 Minutes later, I remembered I had a half can of organic black beans with mixed vegetables I had brought with me in a tupperware, so I heateed them up and had those. I decided to add some fresh salsa to them instead of cheese, and they were delicious. I feel good! I decided to enjoy a little more sun so I studied outside for about 30 minutes.

For dinner - my mom, sister and I were a bit rushed because we had to help my mom pack for her trip to Peru the next morning - so we had some leftovers from her birthday party the other day. I went to the market and bought some great produce for a salad - organic red leaf lettuce, organic tomatoes, and avocadoes. AS we made dinner, I had about 6 wheat/flax seed water crackers from Trader Joe's with about an oz. of goat cheese and a glass of wine. For dinner, we had our salad with a little balsamic dressing, and made a version of peruvian "tacu tacu" which is Peruvian beans and rice grilled into a "patty" and a fried egg on top. YUM. I had another glass of wine with dinner - and 2 more glasses of water before bed. I am not proud to say this - but I had two cigarettes with my sister before and after dinner ;-( One was a camel light and the other a benson & hedges gold - the last one tasted so I am officially done. I realize I let myself go when I go home - partly because I am on vacation, and also because of my tendency to "go with the flow" and blend into my environment...since my sister, mom, and friends down there smoke - I just did too...but I was able to abstain around my friends this weekend, and it felt fine - great actually since I feel so much better when I don't smoke. So tomorrow I am a non-smoker - officially! ;-)

Embarking on Project Health!!

To be continued...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Target Heart Rate

To manually calculate your target heart rate zone, first determine your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age. (This calculation represents a general guideline only.) For example, if you are 35, your maximum heart rate is 220 - 35 = 185. Next, calculate your target heart rate zone. This is generally 50% to 75% of the maximum heart rate for most people during the first six months of regular exercise. For example, 50%-75% of your maximum heart rate of 185 is (185 x 50) ÷ 100 = 93; (185 x 75) ÷ 100 = 139. So your target heart rate zone for exercise, in this example, would be 93-139 heartbeats per minute.

If you haven't been exercising, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you then start at 50%, with the goal of gradually building up to 75% during this six-month period, but only after checking with your physician. People who have not been exercising or who intend to change their exercise program significantly need to get their physician's approval. After exercising regularly for six months, some people might be able to exercise comfortably at up to 85% of their maximum heart rate, according to the AHA. However, the AHA notes that you don't have to exercise that hard (at 85%) to stay in condition.

Because I am 29 - my maximum heart rate is 191 beats per minute...

Low Intensity:
Based on your age, you will work at 50% to 75% of your maximum heart rate when your heart rate is 96 to 143 beats per minute. Working within this range is an excellent goal for most healthy people. Doing so will improve general health and cardiovascular fitness and also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. However, always check with your physician before choosing a target heart rate zone.

High Intensity:
Based on your age, you will work at 75% to 85% of your maximum heart rate when your heart rate is 143 to 162 beats per minute. Working within this range is not necessary, according to the American Heart Association, to maintain cardiovascular fitness. This level of workout is only recommended for the very fit, and only with a physician's approval. Please note that a few high blood pressure medications lower the maximum heart rate and thus the target zone rate. If you're taking high blood pressure medicine, call your physician to find out if you need to adjust your program.

Article on Nutrition, Calories & Macronutrients

Achieving the best weight for your body is an accounting issue: You have to balance the number of calories in with the number out. When you're trying to lose weight, this means spending more in daily activities and exercise than you take in through food.

Calories come from three main types of macronutrients, or calorie-supplying nutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat. Your body needs some of each. Unfortunately, fad diets fuel confusion about just how much of each type of calorie your body needs. We believe the best way to divide your daily calories for weight loss is the same manner in which health and nutrition experts recommend dividing them for good health: 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent fat, and 15 to 25 percent protein.

Begin to think of calories as what they do for your body, rather than the enemy. The calories we'd like you to eat are more than just calories: They are rich in nutrients and other health-enhancing substances that take you one step closer to great health. (That's why it doesn't work to substitute candy calories for fruit or vegetable calories. We'd rather have you plan in a few calories for sweets or other treats, and still indulge your body in the health-enhancing calories it needs.)

How many grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat you will get each day when you follow our meal plans depends on how many calories you've chosen to eat. Here's how they shake down:

1700 calories:
  • 50-60% carbohydrate: 213-255 grams carb (850-1020 calories)
  • 15-25% protein: 64-106 grams protein (255-425 calories)
  • 20-30% fat: 38-57 grams fat (340-510 calories)
1900 calories:
  • 50-60% carbohydrate: 238-285 grams carb (950-1140 calories)
  • 15-25% protein: 71-119 grams protein (285-475 calories)
  • 20-30% fat: 42-63 grams fat (380-570 calories)


Carbohydrates have gotten a lot of bad press lately, but they are the highest quality fuel for people of all ages. The type of carbohydrates recommended for good health are those made by nature and found in:

  • Whole grains (whole wheat, barley, corn, quinoa, oats, etc.)
  • Legumes (black beans, lentils, split peas, etc.)
  • Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peas, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Fruits (apples, oranges, berries, etc.)

The less these foods are refined, the better they are for several reasons: Unrefined foods have more nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals. When it comes to weight loss, unrefined foods are more filling, which means fewer calories make you feel full. For example, an apple is more filling (and more nutritious) than apple juice. Unrefined carbohydrates are called complex carbohydrates.

QUICK FACT: A gram of carbohydrate (about 1/28th of an ounce) has four calories. An average sized banana, for example, has about 28 grams of carbohydrates (the rest of the weight comes from the peel, fiber, a little protein, a little fat, and the water), which account for about 112 calories (good for you calories!).


Proteins build new tissues, help children grow, build hormones and body chemicals and have an essential role in countless other body functions. Protein calories are rarely found alone. Vegetable proteins, such as those found in black beans and other legumes and whole grains such as barley and quinoa, are found with complex carbohydrate calories. Fat calories tag along with meat, poultry, and fish proteins (fish has the least number of fat calories, ounce for ounce, and a better type of fat, too).

QUICK FACT: One gram of protein also has four calories. One slice of individually wrapped cheese contains about 28 grams of protein, or about 112 calories.


Some fat is essential for good health, although generally far less than most people eat. Fat is necessary to form hormones, absorb nutrients, and has several other functions. Fats are found in dairy foods (except fat-free versions), meat, poultry, fish, and most convenience and packaged foods. Nuts and seeds are very high in fat, and some foods are pure fat, such as oils, butter and margarine. All these fat-containing foods can be included in a healthy diet, just in appropriate portions. Adults need about 15 to 20 grams daily, but Americans eat upwards of 70 to 80 grams each day. One of the reasons fats catch up with us so quickly (to add pounds) is that they are very calorically dense.

QUICK FACT: One gram of fat has nine calories. One teaspoon of butter or margarine has about 5 grams of fat, or about 45 calories.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back on Track

It's been a few weeks since my last post - which is crazy because the time has absolutely flown by. It has been an up and down battle the past few weeks - mostly due to midterms and an increased workload, which have both calmed down a bit as of today. So, I am up for air, and ready to re-engage my commitment to this project!

I have been tracking (almost) every day on the Daily Plate, and will now email Heather so she can look it over and see where I can improve and tweak a few things. My overall observation since starting to track is that I don'g have a horrible problem - but I definitely "cheat" a little too much - particularly on the weekends and with alcohol. My worse times are when I am really stressed (duh!) because I feel like I have no time to do anything, so preparing my food and exercise can easily fall off the radar. I've been craving CARBS and sweets lately - particularly starchy sweets like cookies...not sure if it's a time of the month or just a general stress thing - but need to nip it in the bud.

I am quite proud of the fact that I have been doing exercise almost every day - have been walking an hour plus in the hills of Hillsborough with Margaret 4-5 x a week. This past week the yoga and spin were not possible due to my schedule, but tomorrow I'm back on with Spin and plan to take a couple of yoga classes this weekend.

SO - overall, proud of my progress and for sticking with it and for re-committing. Had a great conversation with Margaret today about being easier on myself, so that is something I will work on...Oh! and on a random note - I absolutely love Bethenny Frankel from the Real Housewives of NYC - and I found her website today that has tons of delicious, healthy recipes: - I will add this as a link on the right...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My 3-Month Goals

I just got off a call with my fabulous coach - Maya, and have clarified my 3 month goals. Because my birthday in March 2nd - it has always felt like I never really start to gain traction until March - so I prefer to look at quarters by season - Mar-May = Q1, Jun-Aug = Q2, Sep-Nov = Q3, and Dec-Feb = Q4. So, for Q1, my health & fitness goals are to:
  1. Consistently stick to fitness regimen of 2 days Spin Class, 2 Days Weights/Strength Training, and 2 Days Yoga per week. Other activities will be considered "bonus" but will also be incorporated.
  2. Take 1 Dance Class per week
  3. Lose 12 Pounds
I am also committing to track my food using The Daily Plate for the next two weeks - at which point I will engage Maya and my new friend "Smurf" from the FitLifeSF Blog in assessing what changes I need to make to my nutrition plan. The idea is to focus on the activity and on the accountability - and go from there.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Project Sexy Claudia

I turned 29 years old last Monday. The past two years, particularly the past year, have been full of personal and professional growth, fabulous new friends and mentors, and exciting travel to New York, DC, and Peru. Lots of exciting stuff going on for me - inspirations galore from my trip to Peru and from all of the professional developments as of late. The future's so bright...I gotta wear shades. ;-p

SO - what's this project all about then?? Precisely as the name implies - Project Sexy Claudia is about getting to a point where I feel, live and act as sexy and full of life as possible. It's about living life to the fullest, with a radiance and sense of confidence that only comes from being physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. I have worked on my mental and emotional health - now it's time for the physical! I have known for some time now that I need to get my weight and fitness in check if I am to achieve my wildest dreams. I have made a commitment to myself to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday. This is weight that I have carried pretty much my entire adult life - and to me it's a symbol of times when I was ill-equipped/resourced to deal with life's challenges in a healthy way; instead I used food and alcohol to comfort and distract me from dealing with uncomfortable feelings. My issue is and always has been stress and emotional eating - as well as just plain old inconsistency and lack of structure - in my schedule, in my diet, and in my day to day habits.

I am by no means "out of control" - quite the contrary. I'm a lifelong athlete, fairly active and have made some giant strides in my lifestyle. I love yoga, hikes, spin classes, and have tried pretty much every type of nutrition plan and detox ever conceived. I am in fairly decent shape - by no means obese, but definitely carrying around extra pounds and just not happy with how my body looks, and never have been. It is almost harder for someone like me that has less weight to lose - because it is very easy to trick myself into thinking I am fine, and to make other things and projects a priority. If I was 100 pounds overweight - it would be obvious that I needed to do something. I am "fine", but I am not where I want to be, and definitely not where I know I can be. I want to feel comfortable in my skin - something I have never felt in my entire life. I have always had "extra" and have never been remotely comfortable with the thought of exposing my arms, my stomach, and (God forbid) wear any kind of bathing suit. As a result, I limit myself from experiences and chances to fully enjoy life - and that is not ok. I am very aware that this is it - I only get one chance, and I don't want to leave this life never having looked super hot in a bikini ;-) I am ready for a major change!

I have always dreamed of helping and motivating others live healthy, passionate, and full lives - and I dream of becoming a yoga instructor someday. I know the first step is for me to conquer my demons and finally realize my fitness potential. I believe that a healthy body is a sign of a healthy mind and emotional state - and I am ready for my outer body to reflect the amazing work I've done on the inside over the last couple of years. I realize one of my issues is that I have a habit of taking on an "all or nothing" mentality - which leads to burn out and disappointment. I don't want to do another crazy detox or count every single calorie - but I also don't want to sabotage myself. I never want to live a life or achieve a body that requires depriving myself of wine and chocolate - especially living in San Francisco ;-) I also have a very full life and career, so it will never be possible to live in the gym 3 hours a day 7 days a week. My goal is to develop a nutrition, fitness and lifestyle plan that is attainable and sustainable.

This blog will be specifically about this project and all of the elements that will go into it. I will post goals, jounal entries, pictures, wins/challenges, resources, events and overall progress. I will engage my mentors and friends along my journey - for accountability and to hopefully create a community of sorts focused on healthy, exciting, and joyful living. The value of community is huge - part of why I think I've failed before is that I tried to do it 100% on my own vs. engaging others in the process. When I've gotten leverage is when I've surrounded myself with other health minded people - joining exercise Meetup groups, etc. It's amazing how valuabe it is to read stories from people who are "real" and are/were faced with my same challenges - and how they conquered them. My ultimate goal is to not only capture my journey - but also at some point use it to inspire and help someone else along theirs.