An average Jane on health and nutrition

Archive for June, 2011

SparkPeople/evolution of this blog

So I joined SparkPeople and am tracking my weight loss stuff there a bit more since it’s all kind of integrated.

Therefore, I think this blog will become more what I sort of wanted to do in the first place, which is write about recipes and cooking/baking I do.

Since I have no followers yet, I trust this will not upset anyone. Good timing, Julia. Good timing. 🙂


– J


On breakfast

Recently, I’ve been hungry. In the morning. Soon after waking up.

So *this* is why breakfast exists! Gotcha.

I always thought that maybe there were breakfast people and non-breakfast people. Non-breakfast people (like yours truly) just aren’t hungry when they get up. It’s cool, I’ll eat later when I’m hungry, probably a few hours into the workday. I’d heard for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, etc. etc. but if you’re not hungry? I mean.. you shouldn’t eat just for the heck of it.. maybe I’m not a breakfast person. (Like how I’m not a “morning person” even though I’ll enjoy being up in the morning if I make myself.)

Then I decided to pay more serious attention to losing weight. I’d read several articles espousing the benefits of breakfast, and some questionable but often-repeated stats about breakfast-eaters weighing less, and finally I figured you know.. let’s give this whole breakfast thing a try.

I’d seen suggested breakfasts in any number of nutrition-related articles. Lean proteins, some veggies, carbs, juice. Hahaha.. yeah, right.

a) there’s no way in hell I’m getting up earlier to make myself that breakfast (see: not a morning person) and

b) there’s no way I even want to eat that much food in the morning.

So I started small. Oatmeal, maybe. A banana. I recently started making a batch of bran-related muffins on Sundays to grab throughout the workweek.

I would get up, get ready for work, and make myself eat something. “Kickstarting my metabolism”  is the phrase from the nutrition articles. This fit in nicely with not eating much. Well, I’m not hungry, but I’m kickstarting my metabolism. So just a bit of food. For the betterment of my health and rest of the day. Cuz it’s for my METABOLISM.

So for awhile I kickstarted my metabolism every morning, usually with a relatively plain and always easy-to-grab food item. It fit in okay with my better eating at lunch and dinner, so okay. Sure.

Some days, I literally didn’t want to eat anything. I’d take a bite of the banana and it didn’t feel like finishing it.. there was nothing wrong with the banana, I just wasn’t hungry and therefore the banana didn’t taste good. Usually in this instance, I’d take a few more bites in rapid succession and be done. Metabolism kickstarted.

And then, somewhere in there.. I started actually being hungry. I would wake up and start to get dressed, and my stomach would say, “umhi…having some food soon, right?”

Huh. Interesting.

This is undoubtedly the result of numerous factors, including ones biological that I am not properly educated in.. but the ones I’m sure of include the fact that I’m eating consistent, healthy dinners with an appropriate quantity and variety of food, that I’m working out regularly, and that I’m being pretty consistent with all meals and snacks. (Dinner was notated separately only because it’s the last meal before sleep, and if there’s too much of it, I think it spills over into not being hungry in the morning.)

So being a “breakfast person” can be a learned behavior? Seems like it. I literally can’t imagine not having something for breakfast now. I’ve moved up slightly from the single-item breakfast, but usually only by adding a handful of nuts or a glass of juice. I don’t think I’ll ever be the breakfast person who wakes up during the week and makes an egg-white and veggie scramble with ham, toast, and coffee before work. But I have recently been the person who’ll do an omelet on the weekend.  

Because apparently I’m a breakfast person.

– Julia


Known Factors and Previous Changes

I said I’ve been paying more attention to my health and wellness over the last few years. So there are some things I know already, and changes that have already been made.

I almost never drink soda, or coffee.

But this works for me because I don’t particularly like coffee and soda is a take it or leave it. “Giving up” soda wasn’t a challenge, but giving up, say, chocolate would be. We all have those things we can pass over a million times without a second thought. Soda is one of mine.

However, it’s rare that I’ll ever completely outlaw/forbid anything, because frankly, in my world, it’s probably not practical. I was at a Red Sox game with my older brother, and he bought hot dogs and Cokes for us. Awesome, thanks! Enjoy the hot dog and Coke. It’s not going to kill you.

I drink a lot of water.

Credit retail for this one.. working in a dry, dusty environment was the start.

Moderation, except for veggies.

I credit increased consumption of vegetables as the single biggest factor in the weight loss I’ve already experienced. For some meals, I’ll halve what previously would have been the main part, and replace with more veggies. Lots more veggies. Today at work I have half of a turkey and provolone sandwich on a bagel and a whole pile of vegetables. Carrots, cucumbers, and spinach, namely.

I think there are others. I’ll add them as I think of it.

– Julia

Advanced editing!

This is completely off-topic, but I’m still learning WordPress and they have options for crazy things!

They can check my posts for biased language, cliches, complex phrases, double negatives, hidden verbs, jargon, passive voices, phrases to avoid, and redundant phrases!

(Phrases to avoid? What phrases should I be avoiding?)

I didn’t check any of them. I’ll look for my own hidden verbs.

It’s just interesting that it’s an option. I mentioned my English degree. I come out in full geek force for things like that.

– Julia


So it begins..

My friend Steph has been suggesting I start a blog for ages. It’s all about the personal brand, she tells me. Not totally sure I know what that means, but it’s been years since I graduated, and maybe it’s time to put those writing skills to use.

I’m 27, and I currently work in an administrative-assistant type role for a relatively small company. We wear lots of hats.

One day, I will write an essay about how my English degree actually has proven to be useful in the business world. I’ll call it ‘Foreshadowing in Business, Or, What I’m Doing with That.’ It will explore all the ways that English classes prepare you for the business world.

But, on the whole, despite the ways my degree is helpful, I don’t do that much writing anymore. So! Here’s to fixing that.

Apparently blogs have to be about something.

This one is about me, of course. Most blogs are, in some way or other. It’s about me and food, and me and exercise. Probably me and other things, but I’ll try to keep it to those.

For a few years, I’ve had an increasing interest in health and nutrition, coupled with a desire to be in better shape and lose weight. And it’s kind of a maze. The sheer volume of information available is enough to make anyone crazy. Hopefully, this will be stories of sanity.

Food is not an enemy, exercise doesn’t have to suck.

etc. etc.

I believe those things, but they’ve also been said. I don’t promise to say anything new, groundbreaking, or maybe even particularly interesting. It’s more of an experiment, a continued test to see what works and doesn’t for me. Maybe for you. I dunno. But it’s often suggested that writing down thoughts..and food..and everything else.. while getting in shape will help you. So let’s see!

Essentially, I would like to lose 30lbs over the remainder of this year.

I also bake a lot.

I like cooking, and baking. It’s part of the challenge! Plain and simple I’m not willing to completely give up on the things in life that are yummy, although I’ve certainly found ways to make some of them healthier, and to incorporate them in better ways.

So. A contradictory blog, perhaps. But not really. They work together, food and exercise. It’s not a cancellation.

Was this enough introduction?

I also like dogs, thunder storms, and reading the reasoning behind movie ratings.

– Julia