Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PRT Progress Report

So all my months of lackluster training compounded by illness certainly set me back in regards to my PRT training. (I wrote about my Physical Readiness Training Challenge (PRT) here).   I am not giving up by any means but I am going to have to work very hard to hit my goals.  They are ambitious goals for someone who needs to drop about 60 pounds, but I do believe they are reachable.  I will push hard until my July 31 deadline and then I will know if I need to push the deadline out few months.  It's the way of the warrior, right? Seven times down,  8 times up.

Today, I ran a half mile in 8.25.  It gets worse as I go farther.  I need to go 38% faster. That is a lot faster. Today I ate breakfast too close to my workout. I'm sure that did not help! I'm not sure if I can run that much faster but I am working toward that perfection in the half mile. Hence forth, I will finish running my goal distance later in my workout at an easier speed for me. Once I get my half-mile time under control, I'll step up to 3/4 mile.

I am up to 3 sets of 10 high incline wall push-ups. Tomorrow I graduate to the arm of the sofa. It's an intimidating prospect because last time I tried it I could not -- do -- it--at -- all.

My goal for my curl-ups was 17 by now, but I can do 12. I am happy to celebrate that progress because imagine my shock (and disgust) when I started all this and realized I could not do any of them in the way the Navy prescribes.

Finally, the swimming. I can fairly easily swim half the distance required but I have not had anyone officially time me. That's "on the list" for next week.  The younger children have been really good about entertaining themselves in the shallow end while I swim my laps which has made this less painful then I thought it would be. Next week I'll be ready for a time check.

So how about you? Are you PRT ready?  

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Warrior's Way

It's been a bit since we've spoken. In those four weeks I've managed to witness the graduation of my oldest, host a lovely Smorga-salads-bord for 24, get 3 more kids out of school and into camps and summer home-life, almost quit my job . . . and gain 5 pounds.

That last is an estimate; I'm avoiding the scale until my Weight Watchers weigh-in Wednesday night. I didn't eat terribly during these weeks nor did I fail to exercise, but I let go of my disciplines regarding refined carbs, particularly sugar, and every calorie I ate seemed to stick to my gut. Whoopsie.

Such is the Warrior's way:  Fall down, stand up, get knocked down, stand up, retreat, advance . . . keep going. I refuse to give up on myself. I am worth every minute of work and struggle. Hence, I'm back at it again.

I have been working on a meal time regime in which I eat a serving of whole grain foods or sweet potatoes (etc.) at one meal each day and the rest of my meals and snacks are primarily protein. I am using a lot of the Dukan principles mixed with Trim, Healthy Mama principles.  This hybrid plan also fits well with an anti-SIBO diet in case I need to be doing that!  I've written about Dukan before but Trim Healthy Mama tweaks the science in this way:

All meals center around protein. If you are eating a meal higher in fat, then your carbs must be very low. If you are eating a meal higher in carbs, then your fat must be minimal (i.e, lean meats and only 1 tsp. per meal of added fat). They have many other guidelines but I like the idea that you can just start with this simple principal.  It's a pretty harmless principal too, so  . . . why not?

If it seems like lately I am constantly tweaking my eating plan . . . you are correct. It has become very clear that straight Weight Watchers or calorie counting does not result in net loss for me over time. I did very well years ago on a medical weight loss -- aka protein shake -- diet and that is the last thing that has really worked.  So . . . I am now working to find a plan that will result in a net loss over time . . . but is sustainable for the rest of my life. I want a plan that can move to maintenance and can just be how I eat.  That explains, I hope, my need to marry Dukan to the Trim Healthy Mamas. (Sorry husbands of those two Mamas!)  Dukan is too rigid for my life; I have a husband, 5 kids and a job. Mama cannot eat a different meal than everyone else!

So far, so good. I am not hungry, I feel balanced, I am not having sugar-swings; I'm happy. I sub in some "zoodles" or cauliflower rice for the grains I serve my peeps and don't even miss the grains. I am also committed to trying new recipes and refining old ones to keep my cooking self satisfied. Today I made Tomato Soup with inspiration from Zesty Zucchini Soup. It was so lovely I am sharing it here with you. Happy supping!

Cream of Tomato Soup - Speedy

This is a speedy soup for waistline watchers! It has tons of goodness for very little in the way of calories. It is suitable for most higher protein plans. It is a bit high in sodium but you could drastically change that by buying low sodium tomato sauce.

4 hearty servings, 5 or 6 for a starter.

1 pint chicken broth, 99% fat free, low sodium
1 pint tomato sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp minced basil
4 oz. Neufchatel cheese
2 packets Truvia
(Sea salt, if desired)
(Pepper if desiered)

Parmesan cheese or hot sauce for garnish

Combine chicken broth and tomato sauce in saucepan. Heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and garlic together in the microwave, just until you can smell the garlic.
Whisk into the soup. When soup is simmering well around the edges, turn off the heat.
Set aside the basil.
Place the Neufchatel cheese and Truvia into a blender
When the soup is hot, transfer about 1 cup to the blender.
Remember to leave the center lid ajar, and be careful!
Blend on medium until no chunks of cheese remain. Pour back into saucepan and whisk to combine.
Stir in the basil.

Top with Parmesan cheese or hot sauce, as desired.

If the soup is too acidic for you, try whisking in 1/2 to 1 tsp. baking soda near the end of cooking time. You can also replace the Truvia with sugar if you are not watching your sugar intake. It will take 1 tablespoon or more.

You can also replace the Neufchatel Cheese with 3 Tbsp. heavy cream for a more authentic tasting cream soup.  You lose calories and fat but also protein; I opt for the higher protein version for a meal.  The adjusted nutritional values are listed below.

Estimated Nutritional Values for 4 Servings:
4 Weight Watcher's Points Plus
139.25 kc
7.9 g fat
1.8 g fiber
10.9 g carbs
759.8 sodium
4.8 g protein

Estimated Nutritional Values for 4 Servings with Cream Substituted:
4 Weight Watcher's Points Plus
108.25 kc
5.8 g fat
10.65 g carbs
658.55 sodium
2.8 g protein