Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clean Eating Obstacles

I'll be honest. The past couple of months I haven't exactly been 100% clean eating. I've ran into some obstacles. I identified them and I plan to deal with it after the holidays. I figured it would be too much stress to try to change my behavior during the holidays. I had missed some things and other times, well, it was just plain difficult. Mind you, I am still a "new foodie" if you want to call me that. :) I only started in September. A lot of changes I was able to keep. I even had a all "clean eating brunch" for Christmas Eve with the exception of one ingredient. (Go me)

Obstacles/Things I missed

1. Preparation time - Being busy on the weekends left me no time to cook. We would get hungry for dinner and have no time to make something. Often, we got a pizza or had sushi. I wasn't thrilled with this and I plan on correcting this issue in the future.

2. Flavored Coffee- Honestly, pumpkin spice coffee only comes out at a certain time. I am new to clean eating and couldn't find a good recipe to substitute for Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Ashamed, yes. Mission for the future. yes. :)

Things I was able to maintain

1. Ingredients - However, the times I did cook and prep my food, I did use all organic and clean food. There were no preservatives or additives in my food.

2. Local fruits/vegetables - I did buy only seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. Supported my local farmers!

Honestly, these were the biggest things that I really can remember. Since Friday is my day off, I'm going to make that my prep day. I used to do Sunday as a prep day before I started dating my boyfriend. Alas, we are always busy. (which is a good thing for us but not so much for our eating habits) I plan to use this day to prep and research recipes. :) New year gets me back in the grind. However, I plan to be an old pro at this by next holiday season. I don't want to resort back to my old ways of eating. There truly is a difference in how I feel while eating processed foods. My headaches came back and I feel bloated! I can't wait for the holidays to be over just for the pure eating habits.

One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surf-board, and a wave.

NAIMA GREEN, Surfing: Rules, Tips, Strategy, and Safety

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Squats, Bench Press and More

Lately I've been doing things at the gym that I never thought I'd do. I'm over in the free weight section and bench pressing!!! I'm also squatting with the bar among several other exercises. I definitely feel stronger. I contribute most of this to Katie. I know I'm not lifting enough weights if I don't need her to push me through the last couple of reps. Also if I'm not hating her by the end. :) She knows I say this out of love. I am on my way to getting in shape for summer season of surfing. Yay!

However I do run into an obstacle, I hate going to the gym alone. I know that this is a must in order to do my cardiac work outs since I can't have Katie there. Weight lifting means nothing if I don't do my cardio. I'll be able get up on the board, get myself riding but I won't even get past the waves if I don't hit my cardiac goals.

I do know that I am much more motivated to go to the gym then I was in November. I am going to try to be consistent with my time in the morning in going to the gym. I've been meeting Katie two times a week at 11am. That time seems to work well for me. Also, I'm also going to try to have a new gym mix each time I go. I'd prefer if the pool was open so I could swim but alas it is not. :( I'm stuck with the machines.

Any suggestions from my readers??

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.”
― Bethany Hamilton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guidelines on Real Food

Real Food according to Michael Pollen are "whole foods that are more a product of nature vs. a product of industry". Two things really struck me as I read "In Defense of Real Food". One, my grandparents wouldn't recognize the majority of the food that is in the supermarket these days and two food these days are now designed not to rot. What did that mean for my body then?? After reading this book along with Food Inc, how could I justify eating the way I did. So off I went to change my eating habits. Folllowing the guidelines below REALLY helped me figure out where to start my foodshopping.

The following is my guideline that I use when food shopping. (The ideas come from http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ and Michael Pollen's book "In Defense of Real Food")

Look for:

1. Dairy Products are limited to milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs and cheese. Milk is preferably to be local and no hormones added. Only use blocks of cheese as shredded cheese has anti-caking agents and colored cheese has colored dye.

2. 100% whole wheat and whole grains

3. Wild caught seafood

4. Locally grown meats. 100% grass fed, no hormones or antibiotics injected. free range

5. Beverages limited to water, milk, natural juice, natural sweetened coffee/tea and wine.

6. Fruit and vegetables are to be local and organic if possible. If you are really stuck, follow the dirty dozen.


1. Refined sweeteners. Raw Honey and 100% maple syrup are accepted. These sweeteners are not processed and are in their pure form.

2. Fast food.

3. Any labels containing more then 5 ingredients. Or any label with ingredients you don't recognize.

4. Junk Food. A quote by Michael Pollen, "eat all the junk food you want, as long as you make it yourself."

Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven (John McCarthy).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Planning and Food Shopping

I honestly have to say, the biggest challenge about cleaning up my diet and converting to a "real food" lifestyle, was relearning how and when I should be cooking. I couldn't just pick out what I wanted to eat anymore without being at the supermarket. Some of the ingredients I had previously used were no longer suitable. I was shocked to see how many chemicals and preservatives I was eating!

I had to do some shopping around to find the best products to use. I had to decide whether I should just eliminate the product or try to make it from scratch. I didn't know if I was up for that challenge!

Arriving to the supermarket and selecting my food became a whole different ball game. I spent two hours at Whole Foods the first time I got there. It was there that I discovered that labels are truly misleading. Natural and organic did not mean what I thought they meant anymore! I had already gone through my pantry and tossed out a lot. I felt the food industry truly led me astray. What was left?

Menu planning got tossed out the window and it still is. After food shopping "clean" since September 2011, I sort of have a routine. I have basic products that fit my criteria and I replace them as I need to. I began to plan my meals based around what was in season, local and available to me in the supermarket. This meant some of meals that I wanted, I couldn't have at! Back to the drawing board. Luckily I had already been reading the blog, "100daysofrealfood.com" by Lisa Leake and was able to draw some ideas from that.

Now, I buy what's in season and quality produce (more details on my criteria in an upcoming post). I try to think of what I could prepare with it while standing in the supermarket. Sometimes I buy extra produce to freeze. I'm learning as I go. I'm trying new produce and recipes. I have some recipes that are my go to recipes that I do buy when I'm at a lost for ideas at the store.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf (Jon Kabat-Zinn).

Friday, December 9, 2011

What to eat after working out?

I had worked out with Katie yesterday. (my friend whose a personal trainer! I'll be mentioning her consistently throughout my blog as well as mentioning her blog!)

Generally when I meet with Katie, we do an hour. (I had mentioned in the introduction that I meet with her twice a week now. Yay to being consistent as that typically is my problem when it comes to hitting up the gym.) She has me doing circuit training which includes free weights, sandbags, kettle balls among other things. I find myself quite sore after. I take a hot bath and stretch often to relieve my muscles. That said, I know protein is often important to help repair and heal the muscles.

I'm often at a lost for what to eat since I don't eat processed foods and rarely anything that I don't make from scratch. Generally I will have a banana or make myself my lunch. Lunch ranges from a salad filled with veggies, left overs from the night before or a soup and fruit. This brings up menu planning which can be difficult for me and is saved for another post. :)

That being said, for you foodies out there, what do you typically eat after a hard work out?

“The joy of surfing is so many things combined, from the physical exertion of it, to the challenge of it, to the mental side of the sport.”
Kelly Slater

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My name is Suzanne, and this is blog is about my journey through changing my diet into all "real food" and "exercise".  I was not able to surf this past summer due to my health complications.  I had many headaches, I was tired all the time, I gained a lot of weight, I was unhappy with myself.  Not being able to surf truly made me depressed.  I find surfing to be cleansing for the soul.  It's meditative, addicting and quite honestly, the best thing I've ever done for myself.  There's no feeling like catching a wave.  I had been really trying to find ways to clean up my diet since I didn't think eating preservatives was healthy for me among several other bad habits that I had obtained.  I couldn't deal with the headaches anymore.  Since the end of the summer, I've been reading a couple of different blogs in regards to "clean eating" and "fitness".  I read "Food Inc." and "The Defense of Food" by Michael Pollen.  I also read a blog called "100 days of Real Food".  Between these three readings, I truly believed it was possible to get rid of the junk I was eating and improve my way of living.  After all, surfing is about taking care of your body and mind.  I threw out anything that was processed or had chemicals in my house.  Mind you, I live alone so this task was somewhat easy for me.  I went food shopping at Whole Foods and found this task to be overwhelming.  Even simple things I thought that were good for me, were no longer on my grocery list.  I changed my diet dramatically.  My headaches disappeared!!! That was a great motivation factor for me to continue this new way of eating. I struggle with coming up with new recipes or ways to maintain this eating all the time. Hence why I'm starting this blog to receive feedback from my readers.  I also signed up to work out with my friend Katie in October.  I wasn't consistent in the beginning but in November, I became consistent.  I now meet with her two times a week. She's a lifeguard and a personal trainer.  She seriously kicks my butt. I enjoy every minute of it. I knew I needed to also get my strength back if I wanted to be serious about surfing come spring next year.  This blog will also track my fitness goals and progress. I continue this blog, I'll discuss challenges and how I overcame them as they come.  Any feedback from you will be great!! 

"Surfing soothes me, it's always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I'm on a wave. " Paul Walker