Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Detoxing sucks

This probably belongs on my other blog, but I'm too tired to write 2, so I'll post a link.

If you've been following my weight loss issues over the past year, you know it's been a bit of a struggle.  Weight Watchers was not my thing.  I liked the meetings (good to stay focused) but the actual program was having no impact.  I don't drink soda.  We rarely do fast food.  I already exercise.  There really wasn't a lot of "new" stuff to add to create a change for my body to adjust to.  I was getting bitchy every time someone made the assumption that I must be cheating. NO I WAS NOT.  Every morsel was accounted for.  I never went over my points.  It just didn't work for me.

Then Crossfit which was awesome, but as I said when I joined, I wasn't doing it to lose weight, I was doing it to get in shape.

I have to say Crossfit was a great experience.  While I am not going right now due to scheduling conflicts, I learned that I was capable of much more than I was doing.  I can actually, albeit pathetically, run.  Every day it gets easier.  I can also lift considerably more weight than I realized.  Those 60 lbs leg adductor/abductors reps I used to do-- I can do them at 170 lbs.  I even eked out a few at 190 lbs.  This guy annoyed me at the gym because he was chatting with a friend instead of using the pulley-chest press.  I did 10 reps at his weight, thank you very much.  Wimp.  Mama Bean brought it.

HOWEVER, I am well aware that I need to clearly do something about my diet.  I know that I can not exercise the weight off.  It doesn't work that way.  It helps, but it's the food.

I've been reading up a lot on Paleo/Primal eating.  Anyone that I know who does it, swears by it.  And they look healthy, too.  I cut out beans, don't eat much pasta (never really have) and tried to make small adjustments.

Then I stumbled onto a book called "It Starts with Food"- it's a 30 day detox program that basically reintroduces food into a Paleo diet.

No grains.  No sugar.  No alcohol.  No beans.  No caffeine. No dairy.


For 30 days.

It's to reset my insulin.

Somewhere in the book it said that I might experience withdrawal effects.  If I did, it's because this is what the issue is.  And if they are strong, that's an even bigger reason to stick with it- because my body is fighting it.


I almost threw up yesterday.  I fell asleep at  9:30 pm.  Dead asleep.  My head is killing me.  I never get headaches.

However, I'm actually kinda excited.  After 15 years of dieting, I think I may have stumbled onto what the actual problem has been!

Woo hoo!

I made myself workout yesterday and about halfway through I felt a little better.

Now you might be asking "What did you cut out to have such a reaction so quickly?"

  • Shredded wheat or yogurt for breakfast
  • One cup of coffee (yep, ONE)
  • Popcorn as a snack
  • Cheese on my salad
  • Late night chocolate binge (I usually have chocolate chips with some nuts)

That's it.

Nothing awful.  Nothing unhealthy- no donuts, no ice cream (that's a weekend thing), no cakes, no bread (not a big fan), no tacos- nothing crazy.  Yes, I do eat those things, but not normally during the time period that I've been on this.

Last night we had sole crusted with almond flour and pecans, a side of cauliflower "rice" and brussel sprouts.  Not exactly prison food.

Of course, there is the chance that I have the flu, but honestly, the cravings are making me nuts right now.  I'm glad the book warned me about it.

So this was the problem.  My insulin levels.  It all makes sense now.

I am going to stick with this.  I hear by Day 10 I'll be radiant and glowing.  Food will taste better.  Right now I want to kick a puppy.

Apparently, once I get over the hump, the regular weight loss strategies will work better.  A clean slate.

And yes, this is healthy. I'm eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  Lean protein.  It's not a bacon/steak/fried egg diet.  It's a plant based diet with protein for balance.  Not exactly bad stuff.

I think I miss cheese the most.  Sweet, wonderful cheese.  Oh well.

I will keep you all posted on how this turns out... I am not giving up!

But, if you see that I am getting irritated- RUN.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

School Lunches or Why I Pack My Children's Lunches

My kids are fairly healthy eaters, despite my girth.  My son was starting to have some issues, but we are working on it.  With two non-slender parents (even though I didn't get fat until my late 20's- and not really fat until my 30's), I know genetics is working against them.

My daughter is a freak.  We have been at birthday parties when she's turned down cake because she's either full (this is a fascinating concept to me-- this "full" thing) or she just isn't in the mood for it.  She loves fruit.  She is not a big meat eater.  She is annoyed that McDonald's now puts french fries in all Happy Meals (okay, I have to say, this cracks me up.  You used to have a choice between apple dippers and french fries.  McDonald's got so much flack about kids' nutrition -- because apparently they are luring children there?!?!-- that now they don't give you a choice.  You get both.  Which is hilarious because we don't want the french fries.  The poor teenagers do not understand this concept-- 'Can I have 2 apple dippers?'  'No m'am, the fries are included.' 'But we don't want the fries...'  then a quizzical expression follows... but that's a blog for another day).  ANYHOW, she naturally eats healthy.  Don't get me wrong, she can chow down on a bowl of ice cream with the best of them (her mother, for example), but in general, she eats very healthy.

My son used to eat healthy, then I think peer pressure got the best of him.  We've had some issues, but this isn't the place to discuss them.  Let's just say, I need to be a better role model.

But back to the school lunch issue...

Despite what you may think, I do not think school's should spend money on making sure your kid eats a healthy lunch.


Clearly, I must have misspoke.


I think with all the budget shortfalls, I would rather a school spend the money on adding another teacher and having smaller class sizes than adding a salad bar.

You read it right.

The schools have a limited budget in which they need to feed kids food that they will eat.  Since most kids gain weight over the summer and eat crap 90% of the time at home, why should the school be held to a higher standard?  Mac-n-cheese is fine with me. The kids eat it.  It's cheap.  Hot dogs- go for it. 

I, however, will not be buying it for my kids.

I have a choice. 

I pack their lunch.

Both of my children have BEGGED for hot lunch.  They've each had it once.  To quote them both, "it sucked."


My son tried to warn my daughter.  She fell into the trap.  "It was gross, Mom."

Now people might say well that's just dandy Mama Bean because you can afford to pack a lunch and you must have all this free time to do it.

It's not expensive.  It's not time consuming.

Here's how I, someone who has to go to work every day, handle it-

I pre-pack 80% of it on Sunday.  Then while the kids eat breakfast and get their backpacks together, I simply assemble their lunches.  This year everyone is getting wraps. I just finished making 10 wraps.  They are in their baggies, in a plastic container, waiting to go.  They get an apple or grapes that I will put in the baggies in the morning.  A go-gurt yogurt stick.  Two cookies (last year, they were Oreos, this year, we're going to higher fiber home made... we'll see...).  Water to drink.

Last year, my daughter took a boiled egg, applesauce, yogurt and water.  My son had a sandwich, applesauce, yogurt and water.

So far all the people that think I am dripping in money- here's the breakdown on cost:

Tortilla .37
Roasted Chicken (Hillshire Farms) .45
Lettuce .10
Cream Cheese .10
Tomato .10
Apple .38
Yogurt stick .31
Chocolate chip cookie .25
Water 0

Total: $1.96

It costs $1.85 for the school lunch.

For 11 cents, I'll pack.  And I probably overestimated the expense.

And the nutritional content, compared to the school lunch, well.... chicken nuggets with tater tots... hmmm... you decide. I don't think you need a degree in nutritional sciences to analyze this.

So my point is, the school is there to educate your child during school hours.  They kindly provide a meal to your child.  Some even provide 2 meals.  They need to do it cheaply and quickly.  If you don't like the options, for very little, you can pack a nutritious lunch.

What?  Your child won't eat what you pack?  Okay, but why do you think the school should be better at getting them to eat healthy if you can't?

Am I crazy on this?

I think all kids should have access to healthy food.  I'm just not sure that the overburdened public school system should be the manner in which it's done.  I know for some kids, it's the only meal they get.  This makes me sad.  But is it the school's responsibility?  I think they do an okay job-- better than most parents in these cases-- but with limited funds, maybe making sure the families that truly cannot afford meals for their children are in contact with organizations who can provide them with healthy foods for breakfast and dinner is a better way to go.  In Las Vegas, more than a third of children don't know when or if the next meal is coming.  It's a tragedy.  It's also a tragedy that the graduation rate is 50%.  That, to me, is the most important issue facing the school. 

It's just always bugged me that schools are the social centers for so many programs and then get chastized when they can't get it right.  They are too busy raising people's children to have time to teach them these days.

It's not their job to get meal plans right.  It's the parents.

Lunches are a perk.  They are a courtesy.

So before you start complaining about the crappy school lunches, YOU try feeding 600 kids in 20 minutes.  In fact, try feeding your own and give the schools a break.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Summery of Summer (typo intentional)

If you're a loyal blog follower you know last summer sucked in Mama Bean's World.  A broken leg, broken arm, lice, record heat in Minnesota, record rain in Minnesota, mosquitoes in Minnesota and breast reduction surgery that had a few complications.

Fun times.

This summer was better.

We banned the word vacation since bad things happen on vacations.  I slipped and used it before we headed out to a weekend at Disneyland.  I broke my finger less than 12 hours later, 2 hours before we left.

I'm not joking.

We called our other mini-vacations "adventures."

I took the brunt of the injuries this summer with the broken finger and a broken tooth to end out the season.  But overall, all minor.

I did not lose 30 pounds.  But I can run a mile (barely) and do more fitness wise than I had thought possible.  I relearned how to sweat when I worked out. 

I also realized that for whatever reason, my head is not into dieting right now.  I'm working on that. 

And I worked.  Because someone has to keep the economy going.  With my assistant out on maternity leave, we hit the jackpot with our temporary summer staff and are keeping everyone on, part-time, in the fall.  It's nice to have a full office again.

Oh- and I finally got my car fixed from the 2 tiny fender benders.  And since I'm such a nice person, they used the extra paint and fixed all the scratches and door dings.  It looks like I have a new car.  Sweet.

My daughter learned to swim.  She knew last summer, but it was interrupted by the broken leg.  She's doing well.  She watched way too much TV, but eventually got bored on her own and started to draw.  A lot.

My son became a bit of a computer addict this summer.  We're not proud and we're weaning him off of it.  In fact, just last night he started reading "The Hunger Games" and I think he's almost finished as I type.  Yes, he may be young to read it, but honestly, he'll be fine.  And he's reading.  Not playing video games. 

My parents moved out here.  It really has been nice.  I know.  I'm as shocked as they are.  It doesn't look like they will stay past their 1 year test, but still, it's been nice for them to see my life.  They really don't know the grown-up me.  I think they figured out I'm actually okay.  As a parent, that must be a huge relief. 

And my husband.  My beloved husband FINALLY got the summer he's dreamed of-- nothing to do.  For the past 10 years he's either been doing grad school, continuing ed classes or some sort of special licensure training.  He kept the house extremely tidy all summer.  I will miss that.  And he lost MORE weight.  He's officially moving into the "hey, your husband is cute" zone. 

My favorite part, so far, had to be reconnecting with my friend Deanne and meeting her family.  The trips up to Utah to see Grandma and her new hubby (I can't tease them about shacking up anymore) were also fun. 

The past 3 days that I worked from home and spent with my kids were pretty great, too.  My son said they were "perfect.  Reading, puzzles, movies, pottery- all fun.  And we even got a compliment yesterday when we went out to breakfast.  The woman next to us said I had the most wonderful children and I was an excellent mother.  I told her I had great kids.  Then I added it was because I hadn't fed them in three days.  I hope she knew I was kidding.  But it was really cool to have someone say that.  It's been awhile.  I had thought I had lost my mom touch.

So this summer we survived.  We were all a bit trepidacious at the beginning of the summer--what doom lurked in the shadow of the hot desert sun?  I still don't want to jinx it-- there's 3 days to go...

I will take a broken finger, one size smaller in lieu of 4, a cracked tooth  if that means my family had a nice, restful break from the craziness of their lives.

On Monday, I will be back to packing lunches, checking backpacks, planning the schedules, giving good-bye hugs.  I will be happy that we will be back to normal.  A nice routine.  That's my thing.

I would complain that I didn't get much of a break, but  I know that this time is flying past.

I've read all the posts about friends taking their kids off to college-- and I know that will be me sooner than it seems.  I can take a break then.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

25,000 Hits-- Wow. Thank you. And Who Are You?

I started my little blog about a year and a half ago to practice writing, have fun, put my thoughts out to the webiverse.

And today I went over 25,000 hits on my blog.

Thank you.

I think it's cool to have readers from all over the world.  While I do appreciate that many are spammers (thanks Dad, for pointing that out....) not all are.

I really do welcome comments.  I know I have to moderate the comments (thanks to the jerks and spammers), but go for it-- tell me a little bit about yourself.

In fact, I'd like this blog to be about all of you-- how did you find my little blog?  Do you have a favorite?  Do you have any suggestions for future blog topics?

Please join in my conversation!!

And again, thanks.  It makes me smile to know that my writing is being read, rather than simply milling around in my head.

So take a few minutes and say hello! Tell me a little bit about yourself....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Why I Will Not Be Watching Any New Shows This Fall...

Remember back in the day when TV shows, even the crappy ones, would be around for at least an entire season?  Some started off a little slow, they made changes and they ended up becoming classics.

These days, it seems, they barely make it past 3 episodes.  And for this reason, I refuse to start watching any new shows this fall.  It's like dating someone, just getting to know them and then they get transferred with their job and it's over before it starts. 

The serial shows are the worst.  There's a new show "Revolution" that I would absolutely, positively love.  It's a post-disaster show about what happens when all the lights suddenly go out on earth.  There's a mystery (why did this happen?).  It's a little sci-fi (could it be aliens?).  Throw in a toss of conspiracy theory (people in power knew?!?!)-- it's perfect.  But alas, I have been here before...

Remember "Flash Forward?"  Rudely interrupted by the writer's strike (which I supported, sigh), it never got any momentum.  It was about quantum physics, mental illness-- loved it.  The characters were smart and well developed.  Then bam... right before we found out why the entire world blacked out for 3 minutes at the exact moment except for a small handful of people.... CANCELLED.

"Caprica" did the same thing.  It lasted 1 season-- an odd season, however, with a giant break.  Just when we were going to learn how and why the evil robots went crazy and led us to "Battlestar Galatica" it too, was cancelled.

"The Event"- the aliens-living-amongst-us- also cancelled just when we were starting to understand why.  Turns out the first lady WAS an alien- and not from Mexico as they originally implied.  Another mirror Earth?  The aliens were here first and we chased them away because we're from another planet?!?!  Fascinating.  I think.  I'll never know.

"V"- Bailey from "Party of Five" was finally figuring out that the hot chick alien was bad news.

"Surface" was another odd alien invasion show that ended with the aliens attacking and our heroes trapped.

And it's not just the sci-fi shows that end.  "Reunion"- a story about a murder and a 10 year class reunion.  That got canned before we found out the murderer.   I assumed it was cancelled when one of the lead characters showed up on "Brothers & Sisters."

I didn't start watching "Revenge" because I was afraid the same thing would happen... and maybe it did.

And over the years there have been a number of sitcoms that apparently I am the only person who finds them funny.  And yet "According to Jim" lasted 8 years.  How is that possible?!?!

I get far too invested in these shows.  I want to know more.  Where do the characters go?  Ten years ago, I would have at least gotten a movie ending to a series.  A nice thank you for my time invested watching them.  But these days, I'm dropped like a hot potato.  All my viewing time cast aside like a first wife.

So "Revolution," I'll be recording you.  Then, halfway through the seasons when I am 100% sure you are going to be renewed, I'll start watching.


Or maybe I'll read a little more.  Because my books have endings.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Living in a Post-Crossfit Olympic World

With my broken finger, I have not been able to put any pressure on my hand.  To quote the doctor "It's a minor break, let it heal, don't screw around with it, it's your hand.  It's only 6 weeks."

Only 6 weeks.

I was 6 weeks into my Crossfit routine.  I only had the summer.

I was finally getting some momentum.

I finally found something that I loved.

I finally found something that pushed me.

Six weeks meant it was over.

I emailed the coach a few times.  I tried a scaled down class-- but since it's already scaled down for me, it didn't really push me.

Once school starts the schedule just doesn't work.  My husband leaves at 6:30 for work, so that cuts out all the morning classes.  I can't leave for for 2 hours a day to work out (go, shower, go bac) because I already get there late from taking the kids to school. I am not missing family dinner and homework time at night. 

My son is taking jiu jitsu where I have gym membership, from 4:30 to 5:30.  I can leave work 45 minutes early and I still have time to make dinner.  It also gives me some great time with my son.  We have started, although not consistently, to run in the mornings together.  We are planning on doing that every morning once school starts.  We both don't like running but we know we need to do it.

Plus, Las Vegas Athletic Club is fantastic.  And I pay $96 a year to be a member.  Yes, you read that right-- a year.

While they don't have all the Crossfit equipment in the gym, one thing I learned in Crossfit is that it's not about the equipment. 

It was, however, about the coach and the camaraderie.

And the second week, I did nothing, once I realized the Crossfit chapter was closed until next summer.

This third week, however, I had one of those moments where you stand at the fork of the road and choose.

I decided to hire the best trainer that I know.


I have always joked that I could probably write a book on a diet and exercise.  I've read nearly every diet book.  I took some fantastic classes in college on weight training and fitness.  I've exercised for the bulk of my adult life.

I have great resources to turn to--- so many of my friends are trainers, runners, competitors-- if I have a question, it's easy to get an answer.

I also am fairly motivating to other people-- I'm a good coach whether it be in finance (my real job) or getting peope to try something new and different.  In Weight Watchers I was a much better member than dieter. 

As I stood at my imaginary fork, looking at the options, I thought "What if I actually applied that knowledge and support to me?"

I am now pretending that I am my client.  I look at the Crossfit WOD's and try to come up with something reasonable.  I am focusing 80% on cardio and core for the rest of the summer, and some lower body strength building to complement it.

I ran.  Voluntarily.  No clowns with knives chasing me. 

I went on the spin bike and spun like I was in a class.  Not like I wanted to hold back so I could see how that episode of "Law and Order" ended.

I increased my adductor/abductor weights from 90 lbs up to 150 lbs.

I did box jumps and didn't care what anyone else thought as I flung myself up on the box.  It wasn't pretty but I did it.

I was soaked through after each workout this week.

I noticed that most people at the gym really aren't sweating-- they are going through the motions.  Most of them are in decent shape, so they are just maintaining.  This is going to take a lot more effort on my part to lose weight.  My goal is to be the sweatiest person there.

And, like I said, I've always worked out here and there.  But not like this.  I've never pushed myself this far.  But with this new trainer I've hired, I am.  She's really good and she knows me well.

I learned a lot from doing Crossfit- I learned that my limits are beyond what I thought.  I learned that I can pretty much do anything if I keep at it.

And next summer I will be back to Crossfit.  Lighter, leaner and stronger.  And I hope there will be no scaling back.