Thursday, December 10, 2009

Living Gluten Free and Loving IT

Hey Ya'll,

You hear you can no longer eat gluten- the doctor flatly states, "You can't eat anymore barley, rye, oats, or wheat- period". Alright- what's your reaction? Shock, disgust, anger?

Or- are you like me and when you hear this your instantly hit with an insatiable curiosity and some deep bell goes off because you know that finally a truth has been found?

I was happy- I am happy, and the longer I stay away and better I feel- the happier and happier I become. I cannot tell you the INCREDIBLE changes occurring with my body, which of course is making me just one heck of a happy girl! First off, my skin! I have struggled with acne for over 10 years. I've tried Acutane, retinol, ProActive, blah blah blah. My skin never recovered, although it might improve- it would not clear up completely and heal.

Well, thanks to ending my relationship with gluten, and finding a gifted aesthetician my skin has NEVER looked better (well okay when I was a baby maybe but you get the idea). My skin is so clear and healthy looking. This is a huge development and I am just tickled pink.

My energy has improved, my lean body mass is increasing (with exercise), I want to do more and more things, I'm losing weight, and well- I'm glowing.

I am so happy to be living this lifestyle, it's like I have finally taken a huge step in the right direction and I can see a very bright future. I know I'll reach my goal of Optimal Radiant Health.

Oh, on a side note- I can't get enough apples right now. Want a non-gluten-containing yummy treat? Core a nice organic apple, sprinkle on cinnamon and bake or broil for about 5-10 minutes. No sugar needed- it's sweet and delicious- sweet as pie.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Week In This Girl's Life

Hello my Friends,

I hope this finds y'all doing well, I trust everyone had your full of Thanksgiving delights and is able to freely move around and is nearing the end of endless turkey sandwiches and cranberry snacks.

My week was quite good. I ended up spending most of it alone as my Mom had to fly out of town last minute and my Dad has been MIA at the Texas coast for a month now.

On T Day I entered my first race, the Turkey Trot, and trotted around the Capital and downtown area with 14,000 other athletes. It was a wonderful way to start the day. Families brought their children and pets, big-time athletes showed off and demonstrated their inspiring abilities, and of course we had our token Austin quirky characters. I found myself smiling in these peoples' company and spontaneously decided to make this a new TDay tradition for myself. I want to be around people who care enough about health, family, and community to show up and work together on a pretty November day.

I left happy and inspired, next year I will be one of the 5 mile runners and get a photograph of me crossing the finish line in all my glory. I then went into Whole Foods and got a double shot of espresso, blended with ice: No sugar, milk, syrup (I think I've named all the choices the barrista gave me). It was yummy and I felt special gripping my fancy-smanzy coffee drink browsing the aisles. I checked out sugar substitutes, bright colored produce, and people watched. I then meandered over to my best friend's house and had the meal.

She is an incredible chef and made quite the vegan spread. The colors were amazing, and I took some shots for her. I found myself realizing that what made the spread so unique looking was not the lack of meat, eggs, or dairy- it was the vast rainbow of color. Thanksgiving spreads are usually monotone, I came to realize. I had never fully realized this before, but the more I think about it the more sure I am of this recent discovery; which led to another decision being made that any Thanksgiving meal I make will have all the colors in it.

I did not partake in her beautiful food, being that it was heavily laden with gluten. Instead she graciously steamed me bright spinach and sparkling asparagus, and after several phone calls of encouragement an insistence from her, I even brought my own organic grass-fed steak. Dessert consisted of perhaps the best apple I've ever had sprinkled with cinnamon. It was a wonderful meal, and I felt great. It left me with a sense of well being and happiness, and plenty of energy which I put t towards happily cleaning the house when I got home.

Cliche was it might be, I have been thinking a lot lately about what I am thankful for. But really, isn't that the point of Thanksgiving? So perhaps it is not cliche, but intentional focus on what I have and the gratitude I feel because of it.

I am thankful for many, many things. My family immediately comes to mind, the relationships I have and cherish, the healthy body I'm creating to reach it's full potential, our laid back kitty, Easy, and me. Yes me- this Thanksgiving what makes me proud is I'm learning to show up for myself. I'm conscious, aware, and respectful of me- and gosh darn it, I love myself.

Hallelujah, now that's something to be thankful about.

Besos, Jades

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Hey Ya'll!

Alrighty, I'm sure you've heard of allergies. People are allergic to all sorts of things- foods, plants, pollutants, fabrics, etc. What is an allergy? An allergy is an immune reaction wherein your body essentially rejects something it finds harmful. The symptoms range from itchy eyes to stomach pains, headaches, severe illness, closing of the throat, etc. There's also different types of antibody reactions, which then create different allergic reactions.

Why are allergies important? Besides the physical discomfort exposure to allergens can create, there are more serious physiological and psychological affects.

When your body is in immune response it shuts down or limits many of its metabolic functions. It almost goes into a "preserve" mode wherein it limits functions in order to protect the body and use energy in for the immune defense. This is taxing on the body and limits effective digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. It is extremely difficult to lose weight in the presence of allergic exposure because 1) the body is in the immune defense mode and 2) the body retains fluid to help protect itself from the allergen.

This immune response leads into many psychological problems and has been linked with learning disabilities, depression, and even schizophrenia. The link between emotional problems and allergen exposure should not be over looked. Many studies show an intrinsic link and you should take heed. This can especially be useful for a child suffering from learning disabilities. Instead of putting the child on mind-altering (and chemistry - hormone altering which has devastating affects long term) their allergies must be tested.

I personally had my allergies tested through Austin Wellness Clinic here in Austin, Texas. I worked with Dr. Vince Bellonzi. Here is an exerpt from his website: "There are two types of reactions: Immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction, and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) reaction. IgE reactions are more immediate and generally occur minutes or hours after a food is ingested. These are also more obvious reactions often resulting in swelling, rash, and in severe cases, asphyxiation. On the other hand, IgG reactions are more difficult to detect, with the effects occurring subtly, sometimes for days after the food is ingested. These allergies can only be determined by the difficult process of eliminating suspected foods, or by advanced testing." (It should be noted that I am not accepting any endorsement, matter fact, Dr. Bellonzi doesn't know I'm writing this).

The long and short of it is that more and more studies are revealing the link between impaired mental and physical health to allergies. Find yourself a health professional who can test for both types (or go to two different professionals) if you or someone you know is having physical and/or mental problems and be amazed at what you find- it's life changing.

Best in Health,

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm a Vlogger!

Hey Ya'll!

Drum roll please, guess what- I'm on Utube! Yeah, how exciting is this? You can find me at lifewithjades.

My channel is going to reflect my life, interest, career endeavors, and Optimal Health journey.

I am not just losing weight, I've done that before, I can do that. Now I'm changing my life and achieving Optimal Health. I'm releasing pounds, increasing muscle, handling my sugar sensitivity and food allergies, and creating a lifestyle wherein I excel.

My gluten and casein free diet is going well. I've had a few slips and definitely feel the difference. The terrible feeling I have afterwards is definitely motivating to stay on track. Not to mention the weight gain eating something I'm allergic to causes- it creates major water retention and makes for frustration.

Optimal Health- to me that means I will have confidence in how I look and not use my weight to stop me. I will be able to pursue anything I desire (acting/ modeling/ being an athlete/ physical rigorous adventure type activities/ wearing a bikini/ living in a way I' m proud of) and not have an excuse to be "afraid of my light". Optimal Health, to me, means Radiance.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gluten Intolerance; Say What?

Hi Ya'll,

How's your week going? Mine is going really great so far. Let me catch you up to speed.

I got the results back from the allergy test and it revealed some very interesting things. As previously mentioned, the culprits- almonds, beets, wheat, goat and cow milk, cheese, pineapple, zucchini, brewer and baker's yeast, and also gluten intolerance.

First off, gluten-gluten-gluten. Turns out gluten and I are not friends. First question, what exactly is gluten? Gluten is the protein in many grains, such as wheat, barley, spelt, etc. It is the sticky stuff that is a binding agent and thus used in a lot of baking, sietan, etc. I've done some research and found it also is found in lots of baked goods, sand which meats, ice cream, candy, vegan foods, etc. Moral of the story is you really have to check out labels to ensure it isn't hiding somewhere in there.

I have cut out my allergic foods for the past week and the difference already is amazing. I experienced immediate increase energy, clarity, lessening of cravings and appetite, and weight loss. The difference in my overall attitude was amazing. I was "slipped" some gluten on accident Halloween night (nutritional yeast in a potato) and at the next morning woke up with a pounding headache, itchy skin/ eyes/ nose, and major lethargy. There were also some beets in a salad I had, and again, experienced my throat swelling, itchiness, and moodiness. So, the allergy thing is true- and it's making a big difference in how I'm feeling, my weight loss, my mood, and overall happiness.

I'm really happy to have done these tests and looking forward to continual research into gluten and casein free lifestyle. I'm really onto something here, and with patience and understanding finding the correct lifestyle for myself.

This week I've concentrated on positive reinforcement as well. I'm making positive affirmations and really focusing on what I want, who I want around me to help me get there, and the exact steps I am taking- and need to take to accomplish those goals.

Happy Week!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Motivates You?

Hi Ya'll!

I've been thinking a lot lately about motivation, and knowing thyself. In case you haven't caught on, seems like I'm on a real roll with this entire learning about myself- learning who I am- understanding myself. Personal integrity, being true to myself, honoring who I am and acting on it- these are current themes for me.

It's interesting because there a lot of things I've "known" about myself but never really taken time to inspect and really see these things for myself. It's like things I've known, but almost taken for granted. Truly being in the present and caring enough to get to honestly know me has been a really worthwhile journey, I'm happier and happier.

Last night I sat down and made a flashcard of the things that motivate me, and what type of motivation works for me. I'm a "pleasure seeking" person. In other words, you can be motivated by pain or happiness. Pain can be categorized as such things as a bootcamp type yelling or enforcing training methodology, or gaining so much weight that you feel awful (pain) and are spurred into doing something about it, or see a picture taken of yourself and feel so bad about how you look (again pain) you decided to change your diet and get in shape. For the last few years, I have been completely "pain motivated". Handling things only when they were too much to bear and allowing someone close to me to dictate over me in a painful fashion.

Recently I realized that this is entirely wrong for me. I'm not wired (although I'm not saying it doesn't work, or may be the RIGHT motivation for some) that way. I thrive off of positive motivation, which for me means: praise, admiration, encouragement, support, competition, inspiration, knowing it's been done before, and the pursuit of feeling good and being happy.

Actively recognizing this has changed how I approach my goals and get to where I want to be. It's an awesome discovery and I hope that you too will be kind to yourself, and take some time out to reflect and discover how you're motivated; and then be a good enough friend of your own to operate off your discovery.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Health: Allergies?

Hey Guys,

Just got my blood work back from the Doc and am very interested in the results. I have long suspected some sort of gluten intolerance, and other allergies and could hardly wait to find out.

Well, turns out I was right. I do have a gluten intolerance, and turns out a casein intolerance as well. So, my allergies are: aramanth, kidney and pinto beans, cheese, cow and goat milk, pineapple, almonds, wheat, bakers and brewer's yeast, zucchini, and wheat.

The only ones I'm really sad about is the pineapple and zucchini. Pineapple is an addiction of mine, and I eat zucchini like you can't believe. Leads me to believe that some of my cravings may indicate an for thought.

My doctor also said that it's very likely I have a candida overgrowth, which is simply a yeast in the body. You always have good flora in your body, but sometimes due to a number of factors this good to bad flora ratio can be overthrown and the bad starts to dominate.

So what does all this mean? I have had some unoptimal body issues and this helps unlock the door on why. I feel much more cause over my health and empowered with this knowledge.

I'll keep you posted on my new casein, gluten, allergry-free lifestyle! :-)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Health: Weigh-in #3

Hello Hello!

Drum roll please, it's my official weigh-in for October 24th 2009! I can almost hear the drums if I listen close enough :-)

Today I weighed in at 178.6 lb. This is a 2# from last week's weight in. Yeah :-)

There's a moral in this story: I persevered throughout a minor set-back and did not use it as a justification to blow my plan. I gained weight the week before last, and instead of using that to dig myself into a hole and throw a pity party I was honest about what had occurred and then disciplined myself to get honest and straight.

I have changed my operating basis. I used to use set-backs as a justification to fail; I no longer do that. Now, I confront the situation and perceive what occurred and march onward. Big step.

I wish the same for you all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Health: Weigh-In #2

Hi Guys!

Well, well, well here we are at week 2 as far as my new Optimal Healthy Lifestyle goes. As my Weight Watcher's leader says, I'm living as a fit and healthy person these days :-).

It has been a stressful week for me a bit...the loss of my cat has been rough for me. It's okay though, losses are suppose to cause some grief. I'm just working on feeling it- and not eating because of it!

I've also started working at my Dad's girlfriend's store here in Texas part-time for the holiday. This is a great gig for me as I now have time to bring in some income, but also pursue finding the passion/ purpose of my life.

If you haven't caught on, or I didn't tell you, I've been on an avid search to find my purpose for being here. I was in a very acceptable, but not personally fulfilling job. I have always been fascinated with learning what I can do, that I truly love, while helping others, and making good money. I'm well on my search and will keep you up-dated.

Did I even mention my weigh-in? Ooops! I was up, 3.2 pounds. I was over my calories about about 1,045- so this is to be expected. No mystery here. It's good to see what I ate, this way I can't rationalize my gain or pretend I just don't know what happened. Honesty works.

Alright, onto another week as a fit and healthy person!

P.S. I really want to learn how to cook some more stuff to change things up!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebration of Madeline

Hello Friends,

I'd like to share a special event in my life, and the story of a best friend.

My beloved Persian, Madeline, has passed away and I wanted to pass along her joy, and tell you her story as part of her "Life Celebration".

I used to live in Hollywood, California and was working a tremendous amount and going through a very challenging period. It was the first time I had been without any of my beloved animals and I was in dire need of a furry friend :-) I set out to find the perfect mate, and Madeline is who I found. It was love at first sight when I saw her on the Humane Society website and in a matter of hours, she was at home with me.

Maddie was a beautiful, dainty Persian. Everyone who saw her loved her, even big gruff men who were avowed "dog only" people. It was impossible to be around her and not fall for her- she's just so endearing. People would come over and instantaneously be smitten with her- she just exuded a feeling of joy and happiness all the time.

For me, Maddie was my serenity. She would crawl into my lap when I was working and just hang out while I typed away. In the evening when I'd be in bed reading she would come sit on my lap and just purr. Even at night, she'd sleep on the pillow next to me, or even on my back or stomach. No matter how busy, sad, stressed, or upset I was- Maddie would come to me and "pur" her serenity. She was there for me during very difficult times, and also during great times of happiness and joy. We had lots of fun times and great laughs. She was a family member, and all of my other family members- the humans- adored her :-). My Mom and she were great friends, and my sister would visit me and come see Maddie whenever she could. I also have friends that would come over to see me, but always want to know where Maddie was so they could spend time with her. One of my Mom's friends would come over often and ask if she could just pick her up and hang out for awhile!

I want to thank Ms. Madeline for being here for me and our family. I want her to know she will always be with me and I love her dearly. She was a true friend to me, and brought me joy.

I can't imagine a better little kitty to celebrate, what a little lady.

I love you Maddie,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



I'm addicted to sugar, it's my downfall and kicking my rear.

Here's the truth, right now I'm just not able to have it- it blows my diet everytime and everything goes downhill when I have it.

I need to continually be honest with myself and act off of what I know. It's just the way it is at this time in my life- period.

It's not about what other people can do or tolerate, how much they can or can't eat- I can't have it- I know this to be true and now it's up to me to have the courage to continually act on this knowingness..........

Jades, Sweet Enough without Fake Sugar! :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zumba, Zumba, Zumba

Hey Guys,

Have you ever Zumbaed? It's a form of dance aerobics - essentially it's dance club music and you dance along with choreography from the instructor.

If you've never tried it, I HIGHLY recommend it! I love to dance, music, and aerobics so it's a perfect match. You should definitely give it a try. I know they offer at my local YMCA, and I'm aware of many other clubs that offer it. I find that working out with a group is really motivating and FUN.

I woke up excited and pumped on the journey I'm on. Sometimes I get anxious about the destinations and it really helps to pull out my "life plans" and look over goals I have and see that I am actually on the road to where I need to be and there's absolutely no need to worry. Don't worry, Be Happy :-)

Go try some Zumba!

Love, Jades

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And then there was Me


Long rainy day here in Austin. But, the rain is good- we had an extremely hot and dry summer so we need it.

Do you ever feel so pumped and ready to do something that you can hardly stand being in your own skin? It's like time just doesn't move fast enough and you have so many ideas running through your head- so fast- that it's all you can do to just "be"? That's me, right now.

Ate way too much this weekend. Well, ate too much yesterday and today- yes, to reiterate- ate way too much this weekend. Yuck. I feel gross. Got that out of my system- keep trucking.

Now I want to go into my apartment and just organize my entire life. Make charts, do analysis, write out dreams, work on my resume, start learning Spanish, practice my guitar, travel to Europe. I want to do it all- right now :-). Pulling an all night -er and just fulfilling every dream sounds intriguing.....Random thought. I get the idea that sometimes I use my overweight condition as an excuse for not pursuing, or doing my dreams- makes things "easier" because I have a justification. I'm stopping that- that's not my story anymore.

My sister is in town and I love having her around, plus she brought my adorable three-year-old nephew. They've been under the weather though and just need sleep and rest time- and this is the exact opposite of what I need. I'm going stir crazy.

My sister is about 3 years younger than I, married and like I said, has a child. She also has a home, and her husband has a cushy secure government job. They do things like have a garden, are putting in a patio, brew beer in the basement, go on play groups to pumpkin patches and make arts and crafts. She can sew, cook, and even speak conversational many ways she's kicking my ass in regular "life things". I get asked all the time if I too am married, have kids, etc. "Nope" I reply, usually forcing a smile because I feel like the inquirer then feels awkward and I want to make them comfortable. It's a strange moment where they realize they've just asked me a question my reply leaves no easy response. What are you suppose to say, "No kids, house, husband- good for you!" The truth is though, like any sibling- my sister and I are very different. I'm not ready for those things in my life, and she is. I will be ready one day- but just not quite yet. I'm working on me, and this is how I want things. It's been about 8 months since I got out of a serious 5 year relationship that completely consumed me. Now is "me" time. Scary, exciting, challenging, adventurous me time.

I'm rambling. I'm going to go hook my dreams to a star.

Your Friend- the Adventurer, Artist, Achiever, Intellect, Spiritual Girl (I took a personality test- can you tell?)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weigh- In #1


Let's cut to the chase- weighed in at WW today at 177.4. That's .4 down from last week. Last week I did my starting weigh-in at my house and on Wednesday weighed in at my house at 175. Didn't change anything from Wednesday to Saturday- so either the scale at my house and Weight Watchers are different, or bigger portions started creeping in. Honestly, it's probably the latter.

Anyway, a loss is a loss and I'm taking it!

This week, I: ate Paleo 95%, tracked calories with Loose It on my iphone and came out under calories, worked out everyday except Tuesday (Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, and running), and ate a good amount of raw veggies.

This coming week I'm going to get real honest on portion sizes and really work on intuitive eating. I'm going to always eat LESS than I think I want and see how I feel, and only after reassessing my hunger will I go back for more. I'm adopting a little "premeal prayer: Eat with awarness".

This is a life skill I must learn and truly will be what makes, or breaks me so to speak on my quest for optimal health.

That being said, I also posted a Utube video on motivation and feeding the right wolf (positive thinking). Go to Utube and check it out- it's under "Lifewithjades".


Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken Salad....and pickles

Hey Guys,

My sister and nephew are in town from Ohio so the last few days have been really fun. I love having them around, I'm on a constant mission to get her here permanently...all I need to do is find a great job for her husband, and a house- and sell their house in Columbus- not big deal :-)'

I just saw that a friend of mine is on the cover of a magazine for photography, just seeing this is so inspiring. It somehow makes me feel like my dreams are closer to becoming a reality- knowing someone who has done it. Seeing others make it is truly motivating for me.

Today was my Zumba day exercise-wise. I love this class- it's perfect for me. I adore dancing, Latin music, and exercise- so it's a perfect combo. I'd like to get certified when I'm closer to goal and pursue teaching these classes. I have also picked up some yoga classes to incorporate more deep stretching and flexibility exercises into my routine. I've only done two of these classes, but can tell a difference. I am a firm believer that deep stretching and proper breathing is vital to anyone's exercise routine.

I've been thinking about my dreams a lot lately, namely career-wise and how I am going to accomplish them. I realized something pretty profound for me: there's no need to fret over how it's all going to work out- as long as I am true to myself anything I do will reflect the person I am.
That's a real relief, everything will have me in it- if I do the best I can and act with integrity.

Nice eh?

Okay, sister wants chicken salads with a double side of -yes you guessed it- pickles.

Here's to Dreams!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Health: Motivation

Howdy, Howdy!

So my friends, I'm motivated and doing well food and exercise-wise. Today, right now at this moment I'm motivated and I'm doing great- so I want to strike while the iron's hot and share a little bit about my philosophy on motivation.

Most importantly, STAY IN PRESENT TIME. That's right, simple- but true. Anytime you feel yourself starting to worry or think it's all too hard or you'll never make it- you can instantaneously feel better by taking a moment and centering yourself. Discipline yourself to not think about the past or future and just be. This is extremely helpful to me, especially when I start to think about how much I have to go- or the fact I've been to very close to goal before and then blown it. Those thoughts will only hinder my progress- so I discipline myself to be here, now.

Hand in hand with this is not thinking about all I have to do- or will have to do, but taking it day by day. Sometimes, I even have to take it moment by moment. For instance, the last few nights I've been craving ice cream. I just tell myself, right now in this moment I can do without. Before I know it, I've forgotten about it and am in bed! I'm saying I can never have ice cream but I've already used my weekly points allowance and don't want to dip into my activity points- so I'm not going to have anymore treats this week. So, to win this battle, I'm taking it moment by moment.

Another tip that really helps me, looking at my Vision Board. I have a great Vision- Dream-Goal- whatever you want to call it- Board. When I'm getting dressed in the morning I try to always look at it (it's above my wardrobe and easy to see). Also, when I need some motivation I can just walk into my room and see it- very motivating.

Utube videos, I subscribe to several- and just posted my first ever! These are extremely motivating, it's like having friends along the way to help you.

When you compulsively want to eat something 1) Acknowledge that it is a compulsion and not something you really want (just fake it if you feel like you have to have it) 2) Remind yourself that just because you want something doesn't mean to have to get it right that second- or even at all- people want things all the time they don't run out and get and 3) Tell yourself that you are your own best friend and are making the right decision for yourself.

The last, but not least tip? Love yourself and show it. If you don't feel this way about yourself, then fake it until you- because truly the best motivation is to truly care about yourself and realize you need to take care of you, just as a good friend would. You can even practice telling yourselff that you love you, are important, etc. Who cares if you feel silly- positive thinking brings about positive action.

I care about myself enough to embark on this challenge, and I care about you too- and know we can do it.

Cheers to us!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Monday Ya'll

Good Monday Ya'll!

Hope you had a nice weekend and are refreshed and ready for your week, or if you aren't happily rearing to go, that it is worth it because you had a great weekend.

Not too eventful for me, but productive which is always a good thing in my book. I'm halfway through Barbara Sher's "Classes for Scanners" CDs. It is a great series and I'm learning a lot about myself. Turns out, I'm a Scanner.

What the heck is a Scanner you ask? In a nutshell, it's someone who has tons of interests and wants to do it all. Knowing that I am a Scanner, and that it is fine and that there are certain models of behavior I can follow in order to maximize my productivity is extremely helpful.

Another revelation- I've been trying to set up my living room for weeks and it's just not coming together. I finally realized today that it's not meant to be a living room- it's meant to be a studio! Bingo. Now I'm all jazzed to get it set up and in gear.

Enough about me, hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you're pumped now for the week. Remember, it' s always better to do something than nothing and the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Do something that makes you happy today: ride your bike, take some photos, go out to dinner at a new place, draw, write, play in instrument, skip- just something- anything.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Health: Weigh-In #1

Hello Everyone,

So, I am on a weight loss journey- or more precisely a journey to achieve my personal Optimal Health.

I have been yo-yo dieting for most of my adult and teenage life. Actually-truthfully my entire adult life. That being said, I am stopping the yo-yo dieting and creating a new lifestyle.

I am going to have weekly weigh-ins so you can track my progress. My weigh-ins will normally be on Saturday mornings.

My Plan: Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique/ Loose It on my iPhone to track nutrients and calories. I'm also limiting my fruit to 2 servings a day.

177.8 lb
Fat % 27.8
BMI 23.5
Waist- 33"
Hip- 40.5"
Butt- 42"
Right Thigh- 24"
Chest- 32"

145 lbs
BMI 22
Fat % - not sure
Okay, there it is. I'll weigh in next week and let you know how it went.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Health: Good Reads. Paleo, Raw, and a Potato- oh My!


One of my hobbies is reading nutrition books. I firmly believe in the link between nutrition and wellness. Complete wellness, physically, emotionally, and spiritually is connected to the food you eat. Food is medicine and should be used to heal ourselves from within.

My "bible" is Syndrome X so I'll talk a bit about that first and then other books that dovetail from that. I have read so many different books touting different "theories" that I've honed it down to a few that I use the most. Bear it mind, creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself requires a tremendous amount of personal integrity, so as with anything- take what works for you and discard the rest.

Alright, the BEST book I've read on nutrition/ diet is "Syndrome X". It has three authors, but you can find it under "Burt Berkson". This book really breaks down the overweight epidemic that is currently occuring in the US, and several other countries (although I do believe we are the leaders in this realm). The authors really explain proper nutrition and supplementation, which a lot of other books skip over. There are different plans for people in different health stages and truly is a lifestyle that anyone should follow. I am a little gun shy of even calling it a "diet" because honestly it's much more a nutritional lifestyle book. Great read, I highly highly recommend it.

"The Paleo Diet" by Loren Cordain. Alright, this book builds off of "Syndrome X" and goes even more into the diet specifically (they are not affiliated technically- I just feel this book dovetails nicely with my "stable datum book of Syndrome X.) It explains even more the historic dietary needs of the human race and what foods are most healthful for us. Eating this way has cut down cravings for me and I feel much more clear headed and energized. I am allergic to eggs, so many of recipes are not applicable for my lifestyle- but there are many good ones in the back of the book. Definitely a good read and one to add to your information hard drive.

"Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DeMaisons. This book goes much more into Sugar Sensitivity which is something I have battled with. I found it a fascinating read because I have observed that certain foods trigger very different responses in me, than my sister for example. It was so helpful hearing that yes, there is a biological difference in how people respond to sugars and then provides a solution if you prove to be sugar sensitive. There's a quiz in the book which can help you determine if you are sugar sensitive. Another great aspect about this book is the journal tools it provides. I have been keeping a food journal for about 4 months now, but Kathleen has journal in a more useful manner. It is helping me become increasingly aware of my physical reactions to things and putting me more "at cause" over my sensitivities. A definite read, ties in very nicely with the above two books. I don't do everything she says, but this book has provided me with additional tools and I'm really glad I picked it up. This is a great read for anyone struggling emotionally and wanting to help themselves through nutrition. The author also has other books relating to behavioral and emotional problems in children which may be on interest.

"Eating in the Raw" by Carol Alt. When I sincerely started my journey to optimal health this was my first read. There is great information in this book on the nutritional benefits of raw foods, as well as plentiful recipes. Raw foods are good for us, to the degree and limit (as in what you'll consume raw) you partake in this lifestyle is completely a personal decision. I'd recommend reading her story and trying a few of the recipes to see what you think.

Last, but not least (I've read about 30-40 nutrition books so this is just a start)- "The China Study" by Campbell. What I love about this book is it really teaches you how to understand nutritional scientific studies. You can then take this information and apply it to any other book or study you come across. It also goes into the benefit of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds extensively. It persuaded me to give up dairy and I'm better for it. It also recommends limiting other animal products, basically stating the more the better. Mr. Campbell is obviously a very intelligent, gifted man who is truly attempting to help consumers understand what they are eating and be able to decipher through the "nutritional" propaganda they are constantly bombarded with.

Alright, I hope you have a chance to check these books out. If you can only read one, I'd choose "Syndrome X". I have personally met Dr. Berkson and he's an amazing man, and healer.

Getting healthy is something I've recently become very passionate about, hopefully these books will help you along your journey to Optimal Health too!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Health: Weight Loss Introduction

Alright my Friends,

One of the topics I am going to cover on my blog is Optimal Health. This is inclusive of many things, but today I'm going to fill you in on my weight loss journey. This has been part of my adult and teenage years for the majority of my life.

I have done many, many different diets, cleanses, and fasts. Just about all of them have been successful to some extent, obviously some more than others. However, the common denominator of them as has been that I have regained the weight I originally lost. Some of these times, probably most of these times, I have regained more than I originally lost. As anyone who has ever lost weight knows, this can be extremely discouraging. However elated, confident, and joyous loosing weight makes me feel, gaining it has the exact opposite negative emotions.

Back in May I decided to change up how I was doing things, and really take a look at my behaviors behind eating as opposed to just what I was eating. I am a very disciplined person and can do strict regimes (I once drank only fresh homemade vegetable and fruit juice for 45 days), but something always seemed to happen, usually around the 14 day mark, that would crash everything and suddenly my perfect plan would crumble.

So, armed with my journal I set out to establish a plan of eating and new lifestyle that would transcend the dreaded 2 week trial period, and set me up for optimal health for the rest of my life.

Well, I did it. I incorporated exercise (yoga, zumba, C25K, and pilates) six days a week, stopped eating sugar and did that for 98 days, and worked on eliminating white flour and dairy. I also joined Weight Watchers and really began to confront my compulsive eating demons.

I did great. I did have a few derailings, such as eating 3 pieces of cake at my Italian grandfather's birthday- not to mention all the Hersey bars I consumed from the candy jar that weekend. But, I was about to pick myself up and move on, 3 lb heavier. I made it through a road trip, trip to see sister, and week long excursion to New Mexico. I was about 98 days in, 10 pounds lighter and felt great. The only problem was, I had started to plateau- no, I hadn't started, I was plateaued and I could feel the motivation bleeding away and frustration setting in- bad combo. This was the "priming" for a relapse- that dang frustration eating away at me, making me crazy that my routine wasn't working like I wanted.

Then, while in NM I hurt my knee running down a hill and on the trip back got food poisoning from a small Mexican restaraunt. A day later, I was rear-ended and hurt my neck and back- nothing too serious, but enough to make me wince at the idea of exercise.

It was official I was in a relapse. Sugar, dairy, white flour, no exercise, pants becoming tighter, eating all the time, nibbling constantly, and worst of all- the compulsive monster in my head was back; constantly talking about food, my next meal, what to have, which store to go to, what dessert a restaraunt had, etc. All signs showed I was beginning to drown.

Then something kind of amazing happened. Instead of how it would go in the past- where the above event would occur and then I'd slip into a day, or days, week or weeks, or even months of despair and self loathe; by the end, I'd have to add another "Yo-Yo Dieter" notch to my belt and be off right where I started, or even worse. Emotionally I'd completely berate myself until I felt so terrible and weak I didn't even want to face myself in the mirror. Dramatic? Yes, but then I am, and this is truly how I would feel.

So anyway, after this last time I didn't have that cycle. I realized that I was relapsed and going down the wrong path and have been able to slowly make changes again and re-implement my plan. More than that, I've been able to use all the different nutritional advice I've gotten (I'm an avid reader) and compile a plan that is all my own. So, the last 90 or so days were not in vain, all that exercise and working on my eating changed how I treat myself- I'm a much better friend to me these days.

One of the books I recently read, "Potatoes Not Prozac" has proven to be extremely helpful and taught me a lot of about my body. I'm using the tools the author provides to help handle my sugar- sensitivity. I'm 10 days into a "no sugar" period and the fog is starting to lift.

So, my plan is: I'm still using Weight Watchers, and following their Simply Filling Technique. I am able to eat whatever I want off a particular list of foods, and then a limited amount of "not allowed" foods every week. I'm also doing the "Paleo Diet" which essentially the same as WW SFT, except it completely eliminates grains, dairy, legumes, tubers, and processed foods (except for 2 meals a week). Turns out I'm allergic to gluten and dairy, and haven't eaten processed foods in a a long time- so this is a nice fit for me. It concentrates on vegetables and proteins, oh and fruit of course- which is how I feel best eating. Grains and legumes just don't do well with me. I try to eat raw vegetables too, the more the better. In addition, I'm keeping a food journal as per "Potatoes no Prozac" and really paying attention to what different sugars do to me. I have cut out all refined sugar and am currently using only stevia. I may have a little agave now and then, and just track to see my body's response. Being that I've essentially just replaced refined sugar with fruit and am eating ridiculous amounts of it, I'm also working on getting my fruit servings down to 1-2 a day. I don't want to just jump from one type of sugar to another, I want to handle the underlying cause of the cravings.

Right now I'm content to live sugar-free but I'm not saying that I can never have sugar or even saying it's forbidden now. I'm simply experimenting and learning what's right for me- and currently no sugar is.

That's one of the biggest lessons I've learned on my long weight loss journey: You have to do what's right for you DESPITE what others say. Believe me, you will get more advice and instructions than you thought possible- you have to take from it what's usual, but spit out the rest and hold fast to what you know. I've really sabotaged myself in the past by completely changing my plan because of some advice I got, or new book I read.

So, weight loss, or more precisely, the quest for my optimal health is VERY important to me. Thus, I'll take you on that journey as well. Next time we'll talk stats and get rolling on the program together.

Until manana,

P.S. I'll also share some of the more helpful books I've read with you, if I forget- just remind me :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hello World

Well, I suppose the first thing to do is announce myself. "Howdy". I'm Jades, a native Texan living in Austin. Yes, I'm a rare breed, a native Austin gal and proud of it.

Next, let me tell you a little bit about the purpose of this blog. I'm an artist and see the world from this vantage point. My entire life I've loved people and been fascinated with all that we are, but more exciting to me, what we have the potential to become.

This blog is going to follow my journey through life, setting and conquering different goals, meeting new people, learning, most likely lusting at times, but always a reflection of how I'm living this thing called life. I want to live every ounce of it and fulfill my potential; this blog is my journey.

It will have different aspects from health, career, projects, passions, stories, art, science, etc. I hope that you will find something in here that interests you, and better yet, helps in some way.

To that end, it has been very nice meeting ya'll and I'll be here, same place, tomorrow if you'd like to continue along some more.