Thursday, July 28, 2011

8K... YEA!!

So part of my quest to be healthier is to up my exercise routine and knowing myself, I respond best to coaching and deadlines. So I registered for an 8K race that is part of the Istanbul Marathon (very cool because you literally run from Asia to Europe... not everyone has done that) that is in the middle of October. And because I am competitive, there is just no way I am going to walk the whole thing. Now, this means I have to train (and should mean eating right, but doesn't at the moment), so I am trying to run as much as possible. Today I did a trial 8K where my parents live which is an incredibly hilly place. I completed it in just under 1 hour and 20 minutes... not bad considering I had to walk a lot of it!! Stay tuned for more fitness/health/eating/weightloss updates!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Did 35 Become So Old?!

I'm 35 (36 next month) but I seriously feel 95. I've been ramping up my running in preparation for the Istanbul 8K and just to get healthy and fit. Well, I went gang busters for a few days. Three days straight of short but hilly runs that had me pushing myself and working hard. Then yesterday came around and I woke up feeling sore allover, but most notably in my hips and lower back (I have degenerative disk disease and bone spurs that are the pre-cursors to arthritis in my hips). So as I hobbled around in hopes that I could get out and run, I felt like I had aged 60 years in a night. Standing upright was a great challenge.... So today I was feeling better and decided to risk a VERY short run. It was painful but it got better as my joints warmed up and I walked more than I had hoped... so I ask you: When did 35 become so old?!?!

Monday, July 25, 2011

AH!!!! Vacation!!

Vacation is always a hard time for me to stick to a life style of healthy eating. It's especially hard for me as I am traveling and going home to my parent's house (I live in Turkey and they live in Canada) and have the chance to eat all the things I can't get in Turkey. It's hard to not want to eat all the things I shouldn't have like sugar, processed foods etc. I've been allowing myself to eat the things that I've missed but just one time and then I've been trying to step up my exercise in prep for the Istanbul Marathon 8K and to combat my food intake. One good thing is that I quickly tire of eating things outside my new norm and am keen to get back to a diet that consists of LOTS of veggies and fruits, little carbs, little sugars and almost nothing processed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vacation.... *sigh*

What is it about vacation that simply RUINS whatever it was that you were doing with your life plans for eating and exercising? I know I should be able to monitor and stay with my plans and I could if I tried, but something in my brain switches during vacation and just lets me sleep longer, move less and eat more. It doesn't help that as an expat I get to go home and eat things that I just can't get all year long.... Thankfully I have the Istanbul Marathon 8K to keep me focused (or should I say: get me back on track) with training and eating right. I'll start that tomorrow... no, really, I will. ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011


I know that these are nothing new but I love a smoothie for breakfast. I've been experimenting with ways to get more protein in them and other essential vitamins so that it can last longer in my tummy.

Some of my favourite recipes are:


I put in 1 banana, 1 cup chocolate soy milk and 1 tbsp of peanut butter... blend and drink!! Add some ice cubes if you want it be a milkshake.


One banana, a cup of berries of your choice, 1 cup of plain Turkish (Greek style) yogurt... blend and drink. If the berries are frozen it's super yummy!!

Banana-Nectar etc

One banana, one cup of berries of your choice, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, 1/2 cup apricot nectar... blend with some ice and drink!!

So those are three recipes I've enjoyed. I've even thrown in some frozen spinach in the bottom two from time to time to get some of those precious vitamins from the dark leafy greens and it doesn't change the taste at all!! It's a great day starter, natural, tasty and good for you! I'd love to hear what some of your favourite smoothie recipes are so I can add them to my repertoire!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bandwagons and Knee Scrapes

That's what I am going through right now. I don't like to think of new exercise or eating habits as being on a bandwagon, but I tend to make them that way when I slip out of the good habits and into the bad... and that is where the knee scrapes come in. I slip off the "bandwagon" of being good and it hurts. It doesn't hurt anyone but myself, so you would think that I would learn, but I'm kinda slow with that too. Lately, I've been eating all the things I promised myself that I would not eat. I've also been lazy about getting up early to work out. *sigh* I've lost my motivation... or at least I thought I had and then I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and yes, I saw all the fat and things that I don't like but that isn't what made me resolve to hop back on this crazy but great ride... it was seeing that I have worth and beauty but that it is sadly locked behind other things that I CAN change... so here I am, putting bandages on the knee scrapes and climbing back on the wagon. Let's hope I can do a little better this time... for myself!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Golden Strawberries

In my search for things that work and that help to clean out my system, I've come across something called a Golden Strawberry here in Turkey. They sell them in diet pill format (which I am currently trying) and fresh (when in season) and dried (year round). The benefits are meant to be that they clean your blood from toxins, are diuretic, boost your metabolism etc. They are very high in vitamin C and are supposed to be good for your skin and immune system. The dangers would be the diuretic part as keeping water in your system can be hard if you have too many of the berries or take too many of the pills. The berries are sour in taste but I kind of like them. After using the pill form for a couple of weeks, I'm not seeing a great big difference in my size but I am noticing that I'm a whole LOT more regular... hehe I think I'd rather just used the dried berries as part of a trail mix, in baking and on salads. Interesting way to detox and diet... and totally natural. Something to think about!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


So it's been a little while since I completed the detox part of this little adventure in discovering how to be healthy. I've made some very interesting discoveries during that time that surprised me a lot. Here are a few:

1. Some foods that held my tastebuds and fat hostage I don't really like that much anymore. I cooked a big Thai meal and some friends brought over tortilla chips (I know... so not a match, but they were Turkish boys and well... you just can't blame them for trying) which used to be a favourite snacky thing for me and that I would refuse to buy because I couldn't stop myself from eating them... well, I had a couple that evening and was shocked to find out that I didn't really like them any more. Sure one or two was nice and then I was bored of them.... WOOHOO!!!! Another one is the bread rolls they make at school... not a big fan of them anymore.

2. I prefer a salad for lunch EVERYDAY now. Even when they have a great lunch on the menu at school, I hanker for that salad with some boiled eggs on top and plain yogurt for dressing.

3. I CAN and AM ABLE to stop eating! Before, I'd eat until whatever in front of me was done... now I eat and when I feel full or satiated, I just stop, push it away and feel great about it.

4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being active. This wasn't a huge surprise to me, but HOW MUCH I like it was. YAH!! Can't wait to step it up a notch...

5. I'm loving who I am more and more... oh... and another 1/2 inch is gone from the waist! YAH!!

So the detox is what I needed and I am thrilled with the results. I may even do a 3 day revisit to it this coming week just to cleanse out after a little too much celebrating different going aways and events with friends the last 2 weekends.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Day After....

So detox has ended and I've made my decision as to how to approach phase 2 of this thing. And here is what it will look like:

I will continue to avoid white rice, white bread and junk food. I will also try to find a way to be active at least once a day, every day! So far, I am able to do that and sometimes twice a day which is awesome.

Yesterday I had coffee for the first time in 10 days and it was DELICIOUS!! I also had cheese and chocolate (small quantities) and it was lovely. I still found myself eating salad for lunch and continuing with smaller portions because my body required less... And I am maintaining the eating of small portions 4-6 times a day, which is key for the smaller portions. I also still find myself drawn to more fruits and veggies. I am loving how this is more than a 9 day detox, it feels like a life change!! <3

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It is my final day of the first phase of detox!! I feel like a huge success and I'll tell you why... the diet demons were in full strength today. I started out the day fine, feeling good and happy. I even just about ended the day feeling that way but then I stayed after work to work on report cards and that's when the chocolate and cookies that my teammate and I keep on the shelf started calling my name. I even let the thought of "you're almost done, what's the big deal?" run through my mind before I stood up for myself, shut up the diet demons and changed for volleyball. And that is SUCCESS, my friends!

Here is how today went down:

5:30 AM - 45 minute walk (did I mention that I hate early mornings? But I will say that today was gorgeous)

Breakfast: 2 egg whites scrambled with a few capers and garlic, 1 tomato

Snack: 1 grapefruit

Lunch: 1 1/2 cups green salad and 1 1/4 cups cacik (you will remember this as the yogurt, cucumber mint soup from a previous entry I hope).

Snack: 2/3 cup of fruit salad

Dinner: 1 cup of brown rice/lentils/bulgur. I guess this is my splurge meal... maybe.

PM - 1 hour of volleyball and I found myself feeling lighter and more interested in getting the ball... so I was more active. It was GREAT!

So for my last day, I think it went well.

I may continue to blog my intake and workouts daily for a while but we will see... my goal was to do the 9 days successfully and I think I did it. From here, the next goal is to get running 3 times a week as I train for the Istanbul Marathon 8 KM race in October. I would also like to do a detox day once a week and may even give fasting once a month a try as I know it can be super beneficial physically, mentally and spiritually.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Okay... so I measured myself this morning and I was wishing I had a scale. Although, I told myself from the beginning that losing weight would be a bonus to this process, not the end goal. Feeling better internally and externally are the goals and I am achieving those on the daily. Here are the new measurements:

Bust: 44 " (no change)

Ribcage: 35" (loss of 1 inch)

Waist: 42" (loss of 1 inch)

Hips: 49" (no change)

So no big changes so far, unless you want to count that my body feels lighter, my clothes fit better, my mood is brighter, my skin is breaking out (toxins coming out), and that I just FEEL healthier, happier and more motivated! ;) Today is the last day of the initial detox phase... the daily intake entry will come later and then I am hoping to see how closely I can stick to phase 2 of this adventure (adding in proteins, cheese and more dairy... still no bread, sweets or things like that) as I was eyeing the special fun Italian pretzels that my friends brought last night. But that was a diet demon and I talked myself off the ledge so to speak. So hear goes nothing as I transition from phase 1 to phase 2!

Thanks for the encouragement and support... it helps to keep me going and helps me to feel like I am making great strides forward in my new year's goal of being the best version of myself that I can be! Keep reading!!!

Day Eight... one more day to go!!!

So this detox is meant to be nine days long and I am actually enjoying it! Phase 2 is to add back proteins in limited quantities and some more dairy and a coffee... I am ready for that. I love how this is working out for me and I hope it also shows in the inches, but if not, that's cool... I'll be loving the result of a healthier and happier me!!

5:30 am - 45 minute walk... yup, that hill was there to greet me this morning!

Breakfast: oatmeal with the egg white and 1/2 a cup of frozen blackberries... YUM!

Snack: 1 apple

Lunch: 2 cups of green salad and no mayo turkish coleslaw (that is 2 cups together) topped with about 2 or 3 tbsp of yogurt, 2 tbsp mushrooms and 3 pieces of a Turkish fruit that I've never seen or tasted before that has no English name that I can figure out so far.

Snack: 1 orange

Dinner: 1 zucchini and 10 broad beans sauteed in 1 tbsp olive oil with garlic and a tsp of salt.

PM Workout - 55 minutes of Hatha Flow yoga (free online video on YouTube... it was good).

Measurements come tomorrow, so be ready to see!!!

Day Seven.... Easter Eating...

Yesterday was Easter Sunday (He is Risen, INDEED!!) and I was invited to a dinner party with friends. I accepted the invitation hoping that somehow I'd be able to maintain my state of detox (please... I know, lying to myself on that one). Anyway, I didn't eat detox food for dinner but I did control my portions and I really enjoyed the meal, the socialization and just knowing that I was in control the whole time... YAH!!

Breakfast: 1 cup fruit salad

Snack: 10 grapes

Lunch: 1 1/2 cups vegan lentil soup (homemade, mind you... will be posting the recipe and pictures soon to my cooking blog).

Snack: 1/2 cucumber (I had a tomato already cut up to eat but in getting ready to go out I didn't eat it and didn't miss it.)

Dinner: 1/3 cup mac and cheese ( was spicy and GOOD), 2 tbsp stuffing, 1 slice turkey breast meat, 1 slice corn beef, 2 tbsp broccoli salad, 3/4 cup bean soup. Oh... and I had 2 glasses of wine and 1 shot of Crown Royal (when the host gives you a shot, you smile, nod and drop it down your throat... thankfully, he was aware of my detoxing and didn't press me to drop more of them down my throat!!),

It was another day without working out but I was still happy with myself. I could have eaten a slice of the homemade ice cream cake (trust me, I wanted to), but instead, I listened to my body that was telling me that I was more than content with what I had eaten and I went on my way to making merry...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day Six... trying to stay on schedule.

I also didn't post this yesterday because I had guests still and was trying to be a good host... and good hosts don't get on their computers and blog. ;)

Breakfast: 1 cup watermelon

Lunch: 1/2 tomato, 1/4 cucumber, 1/3 red pepper and 1 cup fresh fruit salad.

Snack: 2/3 cup grapes

Dinner: 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup roasted veggies with balsamic vinegar.

Again, a workout is missing because I was being a hostess and wanted to spend time with my guests. Also, I had to work this Saturday morning because it was Children's Day here in Turkey and we had activities planned for the morning. Sure, I could have stuck to my work day schedule of a 5:30 am workout but the likelihood of that happening when I went to bed at 2 am is pretty much zero.

Day Five... the weekend arriveth!

I didn't post this on Friday because I was really tired and busy with guests.... forgive my late posting. But I did keep a food diary and here is how it went down:

Breakfast: 3 egg whites scrambled

Snack: 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana

Lunch: 1 1/2 cups green salad, 1/2 cup eggplant salad with 1/4 cup yogurt (I know... I said I'd avoid yogurt to make up for my yogurt overdose... but I was WEAK!!)

Snack: 1 medium orange

Dinner: 1 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1 red pepper (all raw)

You will notice that a workout is missing... *sigh* I was up too late chatting with friends and I just couldn't drag myself out of bed in the morning for the walk. Fortunately, my walking partner also missed it.

What I am noticing now is that I enjoy a larger mid-day meal and that is where I want to get my biggest calorie intake. Then I like to taper it off for the evening. Now the key is to learn to not eat when I am bored. So far, having a food diary is keeping me honest.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day Four... eating out!

So yesterday was day four and I had some friends visiting from Italy, so we went out for dinner. I didn't know that I would be able to find something to eat but I DID!! And it was great! So here is what yesterday looked like:

5:30 AM - Walk up that hill once again for 45 minutes.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with an egg white, 5 strawberries and 1 banana

Snack: 1 grapefruit with yogurt (1 little container)

Lunch: 2 cups green salad with cacik on it (cacik is like tzatziki here in Turkey)... this was too much yogurt for the day so I've resolved not to eat any yogurt for a few days in an effort to balance myself.

Snack: 2/3 cup watermelon

Dinner: 2 cups green salad with tomatoes, about 5 bean sprouts and a couple of slivers of carrot. It was an "Omega-3" salad so it also had flax seeds and walnuts (couldn't remember if I could have the walnuts etc but I at them...) It had a dressing of lime juice, balsamic vinegar and a little bit of olive oil. (This was my meal out... so happy with it... I was so full, I couldn't even finish the whole salad... YAH for stomach shrinking)

To drink I had 2 cups of tea without sugar throughout the day and water, water, water!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day Three... feeling like this is good...

It's just day three and I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I am actually starting to feel good. Okay, truth be told, getting up at 5:30 this morning was BRUTAL and I really didn't think I could and I was tired for most of the day... but I didn't feel like it was a reflection of the food or exercise, I felt like it was because I just wasn't getting to bed at the right times... so that will need to be remedied next.

Here is how today looked for me:

5:30 AM - 45 minute walk just like yesterday... the hill is killer but my lungs, heart, legs and rear end will thank me later for it!! ;)

Breakfast: 2/3 cup of oatmeal with 1 egg white (I really feel the need to some sort of protein in the morning.... it keeps me going longer in the day and with teaching the little people, I need all the help I can get). I also topped it with 4 strawberries and a banana... YUM and PRETTY!!

Snack: 1/2 cup watermelon.

Lunch: 2 cups of green salad with some salt, pepper and about 1/3 cup of yogurt. I also had some sauteed broccoli (this had more oil that I would have liked and I will work on not taking it next time... but it seemed the better choice than the bread, creamy soup and baklava - our lunch is provided for us at school... thank God for the salads!!).

Snack: 2/3 cup watermelon

4:50: 20 minutes on the stationary bike and then I went to pilates class for 50 minutes. It was HARD!! I'd been gone from it for about 3 weeks for one reason or another... glad to be back at it. Love my instructor (and yes, he is cute and it helps).

Dinner: 1/4 eggplant, 1/2 zucchini cooked with 1/2 a can of tomatoes. Same as yesterday. I had it leftover and it was just YUMMY!!

Snack: Yup... you guessed it... watermelon! About 1/2 a cup this time.

So that's today. I'm starting to feel fuller off the food and like I have the energy to hit the gym etc. It's a good feeling... now... how to deal with an Easter dinner on Sunday that a friend invited me to... *sigh* Still detoxing until next Wednesday!! Can't wait to try adding meats and fish back in the diet.... gonna be good!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day Two... diet demons visited....

But I won!! Or at least I think I did. The diet demons are when you feel that overwhelming urge to eat whatever you want. There is chocolate and cookies that stare me down in my classroom everyday and, sure, I want to taste it but I resisted... Took a gulp of water and chopped on a yummy carrot stick and made it through the day. Here is what Day Two looked like:

5:30 AM I got up and met a walking buddy for a walk that includes a pretty long hill. Takes about 45 minutes and when I wore my heart monitor, it burned about 500 calories (and don't fret, skinny folk... us fluffy people burn more than you because we have to work harder to haul our tushes anywhere).

Breakfast: 3/4 cup oatmeal with a dash of vanilla, 1 banana sliced and 5 strawberries sliced into the oatmeal.... SOOOOoooOOOOOOooooo tasty! Love a detox and lifestyle change that lets you eat yummy food that also looks pretty and is good for you!

Snack: 1 cup watermelon... yum!

Lunch: 2 cups of green salad with a tsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, dash of pepper and 1 plain low-fat yogurt cup. 1/2 an apple.

Snack: 2 carrots, 2 cucumbers chopped up into sticks.

Dinner: 1/4 eggplant and 1/2 zucchini baked in 1/2 can of canned tomaotes (not sure if canned goods are on or off the list... it's not specified)

Snack: I was starving so I scrambled 3 egg whites with some dill, salt and pepper.

Evening exercise: 1 hour of leisurely played volleyball... I think my abs got the big work out here... I was a fit of giggles as we played... so much fun!

So even though the diet demons made their first ugly appearance... I fended them off well and didn't feel like I was denying myself.... I felt like I was making the BEST possible choice for my mind, body and spirit in the short and long run. YAH!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day One...

Okay, so today was day one of my detox... it was a little tough at school when everyone was sharing treats but I understand that I have to learn to say no and to be happy with the choices I am making, so it was okay. Here is what I ate for the day:

Breakfast - 2 egg whites scrambled with 4 cherry tomatoes and 3 mushrooms chopped up. Pepper and a little garlic were added.

Morning snack - 1 pink grapefruit and 1 cup of plain, non-fat yogurt

Lunch - 2 cups of green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and 2 tbsps of oil/lemon juice for dressing. On top I also put about 2 tbsp of beans (they most likely contained salt... most things in Turkey do)

Afternoon snack - 1 small anjou pear

Dinner - 2 cups stir fried veggies (about 1 tbsp of oil was used for frying) that included 2 egg whites, cauliflower, mushrooms, 1 yellow pepper, 1 carrot, cherry tomatoes, celery and brussel sprouts. I dressed it with crushed red pepper, garlic and oregano. YUM!!

Evening snack - 1 banana

Drink besides water- 1 cup green tea

The food was super tasty. I didn't get to workout today because of some work, getting up too late and waiting for my groceries to be delivered. But fret not, I am scheduled to meet a friend for a killer walk in the morning.

And here are the measurements (Let's not judge people... also, I don't have a scale so inches is all we have):

Bust - 44"
Upper Ribcage - 36"
Waist - 43"
Hips - 49"

My goal is to really whittle down my waist. The others will follow I am sure, but my big concern is with getting my waist down to 34." It's going to be hard, but I am determined and I can do this.

See you tomorrow for the daily does of detoxing in an all natural way.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How It All Started...

So a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a lot of pain and a strange bruise that developed in a matter of hours (and I had not bumped anything), so in my typical freak out fashion, I freaked out and went to the doctor to see what was going on. Turns out that my liver is slightly larger than it should be and that there is a tiny cyst on it. No fun. So the doctor recommended some changes to my diet. This got me to thinking and the thought was that I need to detox and reset my body. But here is the issue... I live in Turkey so getting a hold of some of the stuff that is recommended for a proper detox isn't possible. Thus began my hunt for something that would be both manageable for me personally and all natural without strange supplements etc. And I found it!! The Fat Smash Diet by Dr. Ian Smith. You may know him from Celebrity Fit Club and other diet books and shows. Anyway, his plan is to start with a 9 day strict detox with only brown rice, fruits, veggies, water, 4 egg whites a day, oatmeal and non-fat plain yogurt on the list. Then you gradually add your proteins and starches back in. So today is Day one for me... and this blog is how I will stay accountable. I will post everyday and sometimes several times a day. I will list my meals (even include pictures and recipes sometimes), I will log my workouts and I will include my measurements (eek!!). I will also be honest in how I feel emotionally throughout... so please be gentle with me. My hope and aim is that my honesty and struggle might help others in theirs and that a support network of sorts will be created. This blog will not be a permanent one (hopefully I will not be permanently detoxing and dieting, I am hoping and looking for a full life style change here) but it will be up and running for a while and it will be left up for as long as they let me.