Today was fantastic. I feel like a completely new person. Just two days of sunshine and warm weather, getting outside where I long to be, and I feel 50 pounds lighter. I totally underestimated the effects of the dismal weather on me. I knew I felt bad (and I was using a full spectrum light and taking vitamin D) but until today I didn't realize HOW bad.
I'd been stuck inside more than 90% of the time this winter. And when I did venture out, it was cold and overcast. Hardly any sun. Not much time outdoors. Let me explain why this is important.
I LOVE to be outside in nature. I am a real outdoorsy kind of person. I like yardwork, walks, picnics, trips to parks and zoos. I LOVE to hike. I love to camp, and every year for the past decade I have taken my kids out camping for at least a solid week each summer. When I am outside, I am in HEAVEN. The fresh air, the sun. I love to look at the clouds, flowers, trees. I have a degree in a field that will enable me to work outdoors if I so choose in the future. In fact, before my daughter was born, my job involved working outdoors, and I *loved* it. So when I am cooped up, it feels like jail.
Yesterday it got up to 60 degrees, and today 70. It was so wonderful! I had the windows open with breezes coming through the house all day. I went out this morning to work in the yard, and do you want to know what I did?!? I got up ON A LADDER with a CHAINSAW and I cut big branches off my huge maple tree in the backyard that had broken and needed to be trimmed (for the last 3+ years). ME! On a ladder! With a CHAINSAW!! This is something I would never, *ever* have attempted at 278 pounds. No way. I'd have ended up on the ground with a ladder, a branch, and a running chainsaw on top of me! But not today. I trimmed some heavy branches. Then I got down and cut them into logs. And then I helped my kids haul those heavy logs out of the yard. And you know what? It was fun! I LOVE yardwork and I felt so alive.
Afterwards, I got out the cushions for my yard swing, and I sat there in the sun and cool breeze while my daughter played in her sandbox. Just sitting there swinging... it was so heavenly.
Later, I took a nice mile-long walk. When I got back, I picked up the yard a little more and sat out on the deck for a bit, just soaking up the spring. My kids loved it too; my son went fishing with his friends, and my daughter was just dancing away on the deck.
After dinner, I went out for another short walk (about 1/3 mile). And then I soaked in the bath and just basked in the absolute joy of the first day of spring.
And yes, the PMS is over (obviously!). I also don't think it's a coincidence that I feel *this great* two days after giving up sugar and refined carbs. I've always known that that stuff affects my moods, and I've talked before about the "sugar fog." It's no fun living in a sugar fog. But you know what? Today, I didn't think about food AT ALL, unless I was hungry. I know part of it is just getting off the junk, but a huge part of it is that it's SPRING, and I got to be outside doing what I absolutely *love.*
Breakfast: Chai tea w/1tsp agave, Egg Beaters scrambled with sliced yellow summer squash and a bit of salsa, topped with light mozzarella, and green tea.
Lunch: spinach salad with yellow peppers, cauliflower, black olives avocado, leftover flatiron steak, and light blue cheese dressing.
Snacks: Enviga green tea soda (sugar free), string cheese, a small handful of peanuts, a fat free Greek yogurt with walnuts and 1 tsp agave, handful of turkey pepperoni and a Laughing Cow Light cheese.
Dinner: leftover mashed cauliflower and some *yummy* BBQ beans!! OMG they were so good and have NO added sugar. I love these. I am giving you the recipe! (These are "South Beach Phase 1" friendly, but they are also a healthy, fantastic, and QUICK food for dinner or a side dish or to bring to a picnic potluck in the summer instead of the usual fattening, sugar-laden barbecue baked beans). I found a recipe online (one that takes all day and has ingredients I don't have) and modified it to be fast and easy. If you want the original recipe, it's all over the web. Just google "Arizona Chuck Wagon Beans."
Healthy BBQ Beans (double this for more than 2-3 servings)
1 16-oz can of beans, drained (I used a 3-bean mix of kidney, pinto, and black beans)
4 oz canned tomato sauce (no added sugar, just plain ol' tomato sauce)
1/3 of an onion, chopped
1/3 of a bell pepper, chopped (I used yellow, very good!!)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
few shakes of oregano
generous pinch of cumin
small pinch of red pepper flakes
dash or two of liquid smoke
salt to taste
4 oz cooked meat (pieces/cubes of lean beef, or you could use extra lean ground beef. I used leftover steak, cubed, and it was amazing!)
Spray a pot with Pam. Put in the peppers and onions and saute until softened. Add garlic and spices, cook and stir a minute. Add the tomato sauce and liquid smoke. Simmer a couple minutes while you get the beans opened and drained. Add the beans and a few tablespoons of water. Stir. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the meat, simmer 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Add water if too thick (it should be like baked beans). That's it! I ate half this recipe for dinner. Very delicious and filling. You won't miss the sugar!
That's it for today. Have a great weekend!
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