Baby Got Back!

After a relaxing trip to Orlando, it was time to get back to the business of normal life.  We had a great time while we were away, but I admit that I was worried when I stepped on the scale our first morning back home.  Rob and I tried to eat as well as we could, but I would be lying if I said we ate perfectly.  On our last evening away, I had two small pieces of dessert, and had a total of three vodka cranberry drinks throughout the entire evening.  That doesn’t sound like much, and before making our lifestyle change, three drinks weren’t a big deal to me.  When I woke up the next morning, I was SO thirsty and more tired than normal, and it felt as though my clothes were tighter.  Old Andrea would have avoided the scale at all costs, and hope to wish away any gains, or justify gaining weight as a result of having a good time.  But I knew that in this case, ignorance was not bliss, and pulled the scale out, stepping on and holding my breath.  And the end result wasn’t too horrible, a total of 7 pounds up from first ending the juice fast…four pounds up in a week.  It was definitely time to get to work!

I immediately went back to eating only plant-based foods, focusing more on eating a lot of vegetables with every meal and avoiding any type of wheat.  I drank a lot of water, made sure to go for walks or bike rides every day, especially when I wasn’t planning on weight training at the gym.  And after weighing myself again today, I lost all the extra weight from our Orlando trip, plus the two extra pounds that came and stayed on after ending the juice fast.  7 pounds lost in one week!  That to me is additional proof that the way I am eating is exactly what my body needs…all I have to do is stick to the routine and be good to myself, and it will respond.

Tomorrow marks the end of four weeks since Rob and I started weight training and doing high intensity cardio at the gym.  I was never much of a gym rat, but after seeing the results so far, the gym has become another happy place in my mind.  In four weeks, we have improved our strength in every way, almost doubling the amount of weights we use, to being able to run faster and longer every day, and increasing the resistance on every other machine.  And even though the scale isn’t changing a lot right now, I can tell that my clothes, especially my pants, are fitting better.  And every now and then, I find muscles in places where they weren’t at before.  For example, while I was putting away laundry last night, I bent over to open a drawer, and my hands bumped against my hips and it felt…different.  It felt like a lump going from my hips into my butt, and to be completely honest, for a minute, it really freaked me out!  I thought I might have hurt myself at the gym, or bumped my butt on something hard and now it was swollen, but after a little while of “examining” I realized that it was muscle!  I now have defined muscle in my butt!  I know…that probably doesn’t seem too exciting for you, but for me, it is CRAZY awesome!  I’ve always had a big butt, but now it is changing from fat to muscle, and for once, I can see the results, and only after four weeks!

So, enough about my butt (for now!) I have also been doing a lot of experimentation in the kitchen.  I’m still in love with my “Oh She Glows” cookbook

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This past week I have made

Life-affirming warm nacho dip (pg 83)  A cheese sauce made out of cashews, carrots, lemon juice and spices, mixed with fresh salsa, onion, and baby spinach, then baked until hot and bubbly.  This is deceptively good, and is the perfect dip for tortilla chips, carrots, cucumbers, GF crackers, my favorite, your fingers.  I almost felt guilty for the way I inhaled this dip, until I remembered it was healthy!

Creamy avocado-potato salad (pg 107)  Roasted asparagus and potatoes mixed with fresh dill, avocado, green onions and lemon juice, this was a take on potato salad that doesn’t involve frequent trips to the bathroom the following day.  SO good fresh, the only negative being that I made too much to eat in one sitting, and it didn’t keep very well in the refrigerator.

Luxurious tomato-basil pasta (pg 181)  Holy cow, we had this for dinner last night, and I can positively say that this is my favorite pasta dish, ever!  Think of creamy and rich alfredo and tomato sauces mixed together, with chunks of tomatoes, spinach and a LOT of basil.  The cream sauce is made of cashews and unflavored almond milk, soaked then blended together with nutritional yeast and tastes just like it’s heavy cream based counterpart, without the bloating and gas that usually follows a big meal.

And last, but not least, we finally have gotten into making our own almond milk!  Here’s our recipe:

1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight)

4 cups water

3 Medjool dates, pitted

2 tsp vanilla extract

After soaking the raw almonds, drain and rinse very well.  Combine the drained almonds with the rest of the ingredient in a blender.  Blend on high for a minute, then pour the mixture into a nut-milk bag or layers of cheesecloth.

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Squeeze out all the liquid

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And that’s it…you are done!  Homemade almond milk is SO good, and creamier than what you can get in the store.  I added some to my apple oatmeal this morning, as well as a splash to my tea, and enjoyed every sip.

There are huge changes happening every day now.  I feel so blessed to be able to wake up every morning and feel just a little bit better than I did the day before.  That feeling has spilled out into other parts of my life…I am much more thankful for my health, my kids, my husband, friends and family.  There are also even bigger changes on the horizon that Rob and I have been working towards, and soon we will get to fill everybody else in on those plans!

Till next time!

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