Kombucha Hangover

I don’t know what Kombucha is.  Or at least I didn’t.  But I went in to a Planet Organic looking for something to eat that would make me feel healthy, and I ended up buying a raw organic drink called “Synergy” which has Black Chia in it and is a Kombucha drink.  I also bought a bag of organic apples (which were delicious).

I enjoyed the drink – it came in a 480ml bottle, and serving size was 240ml.  It is pretty low-cal so I felt I could drink the whole bottle.

I finished it and started feeling… drunk.  I knew enough about Kombucha to know it’s alcoholic, but less than 1%, and this is sold in a grocery store so I figured it must be less than 0,5%…  It wouldn’t make sense to me that I’d be drunk.

Anyway after some brief internet research I decided I must be feeling a “healing crisis” (source).  I have no doubt that my body is “toxic” as I’ve never done a cleanse or detoxified before.

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache, and I’ve been extremely emotional all day.

Has anyone else experienced this?  What should I do?  I wouldn’t mind detoxing with Kombucha but I cannot take these side effects for any length of time.  I realize I should cut my dose significantly if I continue, but I wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.

What does living intentionally mean?

I’m going to make a list of a few things living intentionally will mean to me. These are a mix of ways I want to live intentionally and goals / hopes of results of living intentionally.

  • taking advantage of down time
  • going for small walks
  • reading a book
  • sitting in silence
  • when the time comes to do work, focus on it and get it done efficiently
  • this should help leave more time for doing things that fulfill me, and decrease the amount of time I spend thinking about what I should be doing instead of being present.
  • using free time for improving lifestyle habits
  • meal planning
  • Excercise
  • buying/consuming vegetables 😛
  • finding a job that I love and helps me to grow
  • buying a house somewhere that makes me happy
  • ensuring the time that I spend with others is truly quality time
  • making the effort to phone friends and family and stay connected

I think that’s a good start.

What are ways that you choose to live intentionally? What are the results you want from your living?

Living Intentionally

Since my last post a month ago I’ve been thinking a lot about living intentionally. Essentially, there are two ways to experience life.  Life can happen to you, or you can live your life.

I find it so easy to slide into the routine of letting life happen to me.  I go through my day meeting the minimum requirements of my obligations, mostly feeling lethargic, exhausted, and to some extent apathetic.  I tend to fill every spare moment with noise, whether that noise is music or a podcast in my ear or a pointless game at my fingertips.  The things I’m doing are not my first choice, but they are there, they are easy, and they happen.  It tends to make me feel bulldozed.

I’m at my happiest when I am doing life.  When I am actively making choices about how I spend my time.  In order to do life, you need to embrace the moment. It’s okay to sit in silence, or simply listen to the ambient noise of your environment.  It’s okay not to have your hands  and mind occupied by the latest app.  When I am doing life all of a sudden it feels like I have time to exercise and to try new foods and to make meal plans and to save money.

Another way I’ve been trying to look at “doing life” is living intentionally.  When I have spare time it’s easy to spend it doing nothing, reading reddit for another half hour, answering emails, or browsing the app store.  I find it’s much harder to look at that time as an opportunity that can help you reach your long term goals.

This week I realized, while I feel like I’m busier than is appropriate for anyone to be, I have lots of times like this during my week, times that are otherwise lost to my smart phone.  This week I decided to spend that time walking.  Taking slow, small steps towards active living and better health.  The walks were wonderful.  I bumped my daily steps average from 8k to 13k in just 4 days.

Such a small mind shift has made this week feel more meaningful.

So for the first goal I set a month ago: “Exercise daily (even the small stuff counts)” – I think I can do this goal.  I think I’ve set into motion the steps needed to make this a lifestyle.

I still have to work towards the second goal – I have been eating better: more home-cooked meals, and more vegetarian meals, but I haven’t been brave enough to dip in to the raw vegan stuff.  I just really like the idea of cutting back on meat and processed carbs for one or two meals a day.  Baby steps.

What do you do to live intentionally?

Keeping lifestyle constant through transition is one of the hardest things.

One pattern I’ve noticed over the years is that it is extremely hard to keep up with healthy lifestyle choices when I go through a transition period in my life.

Sometimes I count on the transition as motivation – if I can just make it to the end of school, I will work out and get fit all summer / if I can just make it through the summer I will work out and get fit while I’m at school… I’ve been on both ends, starting off a new chapter with the best of intentions each time.

I’m at a new chapter in my life yet again.  This time I’ve been doing it right.  I’ve been watching my eating, exercising lots, and even losing weight.  Now I’m at another transition.  This time I’m graduating school, moving on from academia for the foreseeable future, and I’m not sure how to incorporate fitness/healthy living into my new routine.  I know that I have to, but I don’t know what that looks like.

So looking forward, I have to remember: fitness right now is a top priority, and there are no excuses for not keeping it up.

Here’s the plan so far:

  • Bike to work at least 3 times per week!  Make exercise part of the commute.  Soon enough it will be routine requiring almost no will power.  My only concern is I’ll be really hungry after the 25km ride (one way) and it’s really hard not to over eat when I’m really hungry!  It also means being intentional about meals and planning ahead for grocery shopping.  Any tips for meal planning?
  • Swim at least once a week!  If I can make time for a 2 hour swim each week and get 5km in the water, I would feel great about that.  I love to swim, and I really want to keep my “in-water” fitness up.
  • Start a strength training program by May 13 (my 24th birthday!).  I’m not sure what this means yet, but maybe I can hit up a core class at my gym, or maybe I’ll get into a weight-lifting schedule, or maybe I’ll do P90X or sign up for Cross Fit or something.  I don’t know yet (suggestions?). But I have to have started by my birthday.

What are your strategies for sticking to the program when your life/routine changes?

I need your input: Healthy snacks!

Hey Fitness peeps!

These last few weeks have taught me that I am failing when it comes to snacking.  So what are some things you keep on hand for when you’re feeling peckish?  How do you deal with the impulse to snack?  How do you indulge without feeling guilty?  When you do indulge how do you deal with the guilt?

The bonuses of weight loss. More than just the number on the scale.

When people talk about weight loss, there’s a divide in opinion.  So many people say to disregard what the scale says and focus on other factors that have more of an impact on your happiness.  I personally find the numbers on the scale highly motivating.   It scares me that I may in fact be  a “numbers person”.  I’m still never going into accounting.

But as of late, I’m finding that many non-number benefits are stacking up, and honestly, it feels pretty great.

The scale tells me I’ve lost 25 lbs.  My weigh-in history tells me that I’m lighter than I’ve been since 2010 – a fact that surprises me, but shouldn’t.  I’m really happy with this progress, and the speed that it is occurring.  It’s a relatively moderate pace but I think it’s maintainable and I just keep telling myself that I just have to keep going.  My goal is to get to 188 lbs which is another 46 lbs away.  A long way to go, but I’m more than a third of the way there!

The non-scale variables have been adding up as of late!  Here’s a quick summary:

  • People are commenting on my weight loss!  A good family friend says I’m looking fit, one of my fiancee’s dancer friends says she doesn’t recognize me, and my future mother in law is telling random strangers that I’ve lost “a tonne of weight”.
  • My jeans are too big for me – I had to go shopping and buy some jeans that fit my new smaller waist-line
  • I fit into my High School graduation suit.  I can’t believe I’ve come that far, in fact I had thought that I would never fit that suit again.  But it fits and looks and feels great.
  • I fit into clothes at Lulu Lemon and the Gap.  I used to hate shopping and avoid trying on clothes at any store especially trendy ones because I knew nothing would fit with fewer than three X’s.  I found the experience demoralizing and uncomfortable.  But now my fiancee is encouraging me to try new clothes, and I love them.  They make me look and feel great.
  • I can tie the gym towels around my waist. I always hated the gym towels – I made fun of them for being ridiculously small, and when I walked to the shower I would have to hold both ends of the towel in one hand to keep it on.  Now I can tie the towel around my waist and comfortably walk to the showers, hands free!
  • I feel happier.  I saw a counselor six months ago for depression and to work on my binge eating.  He simply told me that exercise 3 times a week is as effective as most pharmaceutical anti-depressants.  I’m feeling happier, healthier, and way less bingier.

All in all, my life is improving from this weight loss journey.  I’m enjoying the process, and it’s amazing that I’m starting to enjoy the results of it, too.  I hope that the next time I feel discouraged or I fall out of my healthy-living routine that I can look back and remember all the benefits of committing to a lifestyle change and be motivated by this feeling.

What are some of the things that you notice when you get healthier?  Are you more motivated by the numbers on the scale or the other factors?

A reflection on Easter Dinner & Holiday Meals: Where diets go to die.

Ah, Easter.  The bane of my diet.  I went in with the best of intentions, and went out with the worst of results.  To be clear, the day I’m talking about was March 29, Good Friday, which was when my family had their big Easter dinner.

I don’t know why I find holidays so hard.  Partly I think this day was the first day off I’ve had in months – if you can call it that.  I woke up in Okotoks in the morning  as we had to attend the Good Friday church service that Jocelyn was playing at, and after we went to a marriage prep course.  Jocelyn’s parents are amazing and made us delicious whole grain, flax seed waffles which were amazing, but it’s always hard to start off a day with a 700 calorie hit just from Breakfast.

Throughout the day, we had to go all over town doing errands, and we kept stopping places for snacks.  First it was Starbucks where we succumbed to the delight of Cake Pops.  Then we were near Crave Cupcakes which we never are and decided it would be a fantastic idea to split 6 mini cupcakes – to get the full experience of the different flavors.  It was amazing.  But by the time I arrived at my parents’ house for Easter Dinner, I had already used up my 1700 calories for the day.  And I hadn’t exercised, so I did not earn any extras.  And it was Easter, so I ate Easter dinner.   After dinner, we impulsively went to a movie where I ate popcorn (a moderate amount, for me haha).

All in all, this totally overboard day put me back a total of 4031 calories.  Which felt good in a way, because I love food and I love to eat.  But it was a surplus of 2381 calories which amounts to almost 0.7 lbs of fat gained in one day.

So I’m conflicted.  Was it worth it to have a day of shameless cheating on my diet, or is it something to be ashamed of and avoid in the future?  What is a good excuse for going morbidly over my calorie goal?  I feel like a cupcake?  I really want to see a movie?  It’s Easter?

For now, I’m not going to let myself be bothered by this one bad day, as long as this type of day doesn’t occur too frequently.