Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy

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Day 30: Free Day & -13 Pounds

He said:

So I think I am getting the running thing down.  Did 3.1 miles last week on Thursday and was able to follow that up with another 3.1 on Sunday.  The progress is starting to show and I do feel more motivated because of that.

On another note, Alex and I were getting sick of losing weight all week and then gaining most of it back on our free day (and the free day wasn’t even that crazy…ok it was kind of crazy).  So we decided that for the next two weeks, starting on the 12th that we were not going to do a free day till the 31st (excluding a dinner with Alex’s parents on the 17th).

With all of that, last Saturday we had Alex’s parents over for dinner (corn beef and cabbage, shout out to my Irish cousins), but didn’t have a free day only that one meal.  The next day was back to normal and starting out this week I weighed a little less then I did at the end of last week, a great place to start.

I am supportive of the free day concept because it gives you something to look forward to during the week and when you do get a craving it is easier to tell yourself that all you have to do is wait for the weekend then to tell yourself your never going to be able to eat that again.  One of the bet free days that Alex and I had was when we hiked through SF.  Because even though we had half a doughnut and cookie, some breakfast sandwiches and a heavy Italian dinner, almost all of that was counter acted by the hike.

I guess you just have to customize when you are going to splurge and how much your going to allow yourself.  As I said before, I think it is crucial to have these free meals, one because you can do it guilt free as it is built into your diet and two it will help you stick to your diet.  But instead of having a doughnut breakfast of two or three doughnuts on your free day, have a bowl of adult cereal and one doughnut to cut the calories down.

Getting close to some goals and starting to set my eyes on new ones, it’s an exciting time.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup (250 Cal. 2.5g fat)

Afternoon snack: Fat-Free Cottage cheese (90 cal.)

Dinner: Lettuce Bean Tacos (425 cal, 1g fat)

Total calories: 985.

She Said: 

As of today I have lost 13 lbs. since we started our blog one month ago!

Today I screwed up at the gym and didn’t change the incline on the treadmill after my warm-up walk. So after my first 3 minute jog I was dying. I thought to myself “holy cr*p how am I this tired?” and then I realized… “You idiot – you were running uphill for three minutes.”

As a result I didn’t run as much as I should of to fully complete my workout so after lifting weights and doing abs I went back to the treadmill and put in another 3 minutes of running to get as much cardio in as I was supposed to.

Now that I’ve lost 13 lbs. has cut the number of calories I can eat on non workout days to maintain my weekly weight loss goals. I have more motivation to work out now because that means I can eat REAL food!

My goal is to lose a definitive 2 more pounds before the end of the month and hopefully fit into my “skinny” jeans.

I ate a lot of little things today that I don’t want to bore you with… but with my workout I still have 275 more calories I am allowed to consume today.

Also – for the past few days my nightly motivational treat of choice has been semi-sweet dark chocolate chips – 32 to be exact (and yes I really do count them).

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Day 25: Cookies & Parents / Lame Treadmill Thiefs

He said:

So I had four cookies today, in the middle of the day, because I was hungry and I had brought them to work to try and get my coworkers to eat them.  That ended up being 360 calories that I didn’t plan on eating.

Again, I have to try and find a better way to cope when I have hunger pangs (I also need to keep some handfuls of healthy snacks around).  But unlike in the past, where I would chalk the whole day up to a waste and eat something really crazy, I remembered that Alex had searched and that running for about 45 min would burn something around 450 calories.  Even if it only burned 300 calories, that would still bring my splurge down to 60 calories.

After this realization I was motivated to go on a really good run.  Luck was on my side and the day cleared up and I was able to go for a run.  I did 3.1 miles in 50 min, a new personal best.  I hope that was enough exercise to undo the cookies, and if not I am still happy with the run I did.

I think this was a good way to look at how to deal with the fact that there was a craving I just couldn’t handle.  Also, never bring cookies to work because you will end up eating them.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Veggie Soup (120 cal., 1g fat) + 4 cookies (360 cal., 16g fat)

Mid-afternoon snack: Nectarine (60 cal.)

Dinner: Quick lentil soup (150 cal)

Total calories: 910

She Said:

I started my morning by getting up just as Nathaniel got out of the shower – got myself ready for the day and hit the road armed with a banana and a cup of coffee.

It was my Dad’s 72nd Birthday today so I wanted to surprise him by randomly showing up at home early. I assumed he would still be in bed by the time I got there or was planning on heading to his favorite breakfast spot… he didn’t know I was coming.

He had already made plans in Stockton with friends so we were only able to hang out for a little while but it was nice.

While I was there he got me to eat a piece of bacon and a pop tart (260 calories). Mom wanted to go to lunch with me afterwards and we went to a Japanese place (765 calories).

So after hanging out with my parents I knew I really needed to push myself at the gym so I did! Hyah!

There was a wait for treadmills and this woman totally cut me in line! We of course ended up on treadmills directly next to each other but I comforted myself in the fact that although we started running at the same time I had burned 60 more calories than her when I hopped off a half hour later. I ran extra at the gym today and I felt really good by the time I left. Double hyah!

Food Today:

Coffe (5 calories)

Banana (105 calories)

Food at home (260 calories)

Japanese Lunch (765 calories)

Dinner 120 calories – stir fried cabbage / onions / mushroom / sesame seeds

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Day 22: Pink Slime & A Quiet Day

He said:

I read an article today about a mom who has a petition going to get ‘pink slime’ treated hamburger out of school kitchens.  Unfortunately I could not find the article I read earlier today or else I would post a link to it, but I am sure you can Google information about it.

This brings up several issues, one being that an ingredient that McDonald’s & Taco Bell now have stopped using is still being used by the school systems and how the politics of food play out every day in decisions that are being made about public food policies.  Pink slime is only the latest ingredient in the industrial food chain to come to light, but if this is normal operating practice for these food producers, what other random ingredients are they using?

Alex read me the letter from the editor from this months Bon appétit magazine where he was describing pizza night at his house and how they never use store bought sauce. My first reaction to this was that he was being a food snob…but I had to check myself and reconsider a different view.

His letter brought to light what Alex and I have being doing for the last month, building a better relationship with food.  In general Americans (myself included) need to reform a long lost relationship with the food that we put into our bodies.  Alex mentioned a couple of days ago that on our free day it was kind of weird to go to a restaurant and not know exactly what was going into the food we were eating because for the last week, we knew every calorie that went into our bodies.

It might be easier to go to out to eat, but every time you do you are letting someone else decide what you are going to put into your body.  In a memorable quote from an unmemorable movie: “It is called fast food because it speeds you to the grave.”

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Vegan chili (286 cal., 2.5g fat)

Mid-afternoon snack: Plum (75 cal.)

Dinner: Nine vegetable winter stew (150 cal., 3g fat)

Total calories: 731.

She Said:

First of all – Bon Appetit is one of the greatest magazines on the planet!

Today I didn’t do much besides write a few articles about whales, wifi and traffic lanes for and make veggie soup that we will eat for the next day or so.

I didn’t run today but I plan on going tomorrow… I haven’t decided if it will be before or after I write my articles for SFBay.

Today is day 2 of our 3 weeks with only one free meal!

A really exciting non-diet related happening is that a photo story I shot for the Chattanooga Times Free Press was published yesterday! So far the writers have gotten really positive responses from the story and I’d love as many people as possible to check it out. Click here to read the story and see my photo slideshow (linked at the end of the story).

Food Today:

Siggi’s Yogurt (100 cal.)

4 Kalamata Olives (40 cal.)


2 cuties (70 cal.)

1 bowl boiled red lentils with seasoning (200 cal.)

1 bowl veggie soup  (150 cal.)

It looks like I didn’t eat very much today but I definitely nibbled carrots and celery while I made dinner so I know I consumed more calories than I recorded.

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Day 18: & A day that would make a nutritionist cry

He said:

Sorry guys, I don’t really have a whole lot to say today.  I was able to stick to my plan with no real hiccups and am looking forward to the weekend.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Red lentil soup (145 cal.)

Afternoon snack: Pear (103 cal.)

Dinner: Vegan chili + two cuties (316 cal., 2.5g fat)

Total calories: 784.

She Said:

So first of all I’d like to say what I ate today wasn’t healthy. No part of me thinks it was healthy but I wanted to splurge without going over my daily calorie limit. Without working out I can only eat 805 calories a day to meet my weekly weight loss goals.

To maintain my weight without working out I can eat 1,500-2,000 calories a day at my age, height and weight depending on whom you ask.

For breakfast I had a cup of black coffee, a piece of chocolate and a banana (190 cal.). For lunch I had a California roll and a diet coke (Approx. 300 cal.) For dinner I plan on having vegan chili, which is going to have a lot of protein and veggies in it and I will officially be back on track.

(I am writing this blog in advance because I am going to a photography panel discussion later tonight.)

Because of a comment we received on Facebook about the blog and a comment from my friend Stacie I acknowledged to myself today that I really do have to make more of an effort at getting more protein into my diet and less carbs.

This is what Stacie (lifelong vegetarian) had to say:

I need to work on getting more protein in my diet–it’s always my biggest downfall being veggie and all. BEANSBEANSBEANS. Soy products are so damn expensive, but I’m getting there. I’ve been running every day since the beginning of this year–I’ve missed six days in all. I’m taking a picture every month–I’ve seen a difference since January. 🙂 I think I’m finally in a good place with a lot of things, so it was finally a perfect time for me to start ignoring my excuses.

I am really happy to hear how well she’s been doing working on her fitness goals! She sounds super positive but it’s a reminder that if a lifelong vegetarian has to struggle at getting protein into her daily diet I certainly need to put extra effort into it.

Trust me – I’d much rather eat prime rib than a giant salad and a vegetarian soup. My parents started feeding me steak before I could walk (true story).

A lot of the people that read this blog and re-tweet it are vegetarians. So – if any of you seasoned veterans have tips for us we’d love to hear them.

Oh – the reason I splurged today? I lost 10 lbs. as of today!

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Day 15: Coworkers & A Paula Deen Rant

He said:

I have not mentioned my push-up routine in a while and one of the reasons for that is because I had to start over again.  One day into week three and I knew that I needed to go back and start from the beginning, even though I tested into being able to start on week three.

This wasn’t as discouraging as some might think and in starting over again I have made a gentleman’s bet with a coworker on who can be the first one to reach that elusive 100 pushup mark.  I have read many times that it is good to include other people in your weight loss or exercise routines as this will help foster healthy competition.

In this same vein, another coworker and I have planned (along with Alex and his girlfriend) to enter the wharf-to-wharf (a small 6.6 mile race down in my hometown Santa Cruz) race together.  While I am not trying to beat him in the race, this will be the first competitive race I have ever dared to enter.  Seeing as the race is not until the end of July, this gives both Alex and I plenty of time to train, and try to set some new PRs.

Both of these competitions with coworkers I hope will help to motivate me on days when I am not feeling it because I know they will be training trying to get in better shape than me.  The push-ups today felt good, and while I had to start over, I think I am on a better track to reaching my goal, then I was when I started.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Carrot-Ginger soup (190 cal., 3g fat)

Afternoon snack: Pear (103 cal.)

Peridotically throughout the day: handful of dried salted peas (60 cal., 1.5g fat)

Dinner: Mexican Vegetable soup (250 cal., 3g fat)

Total calories: 823 calories

She Said:

I appreciate the irony of 24-hour fitness playing the Food Network on some of its televisions while I run. I’ve gotten some good recipes while working out but today I was annoyed because my least favorite food celebrity was on.

It was none other than the glutinous butter saturated diabetes loving deep-fried Twinkie of a celebrity Paula Deen.

I’ve always hated this woman. Her recipes aren’t recipes. If you put enough butter, sugar or oil on or into something it will eventually taste good.

I would also like to point out that her online recipe for “papa bear oatmeal” does not accurately portray the one she demonstrated on television – the recipe excludes butter and doesn’t say how much sugar she verbally told people to put on it.

The woman could make the high protein low carb diet suggested by Jonathan Swift unhealthy.

Anyways – Mrs. Deen has had Type II diabetes for 3 years. She kept it a secret and kept frying her way through paycheck after paycheck – finally announcing her disease along with the fact that she is now a spokesperson for a diabetic medication…

The woman is promoting some of the most unhealthy food on television and selling diabetes medication to the people who eat too much of it – this is the sad hypocrisy that Anthony Bourdain has taken issue with.

It would be as if a cigarette company also sold lung cancer treatments!

Just for giggles here is a video of Paula Deen making a hamburger with a doughnut as the bun (she also puts bacon and a fried egg on it).

Food Today:

Siggi’s Yogurt (100 cal.)

Lentil Soup (140 cal.)

Mexican Veggie Soup (250 cal. 3g fat)

Total: 490 Calories (woops…)

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Day 14: The Accidental Hiatus & Birthdays

He said:

It has been a couple of days since we blogged, and this is part and partial because Thursday was not a good night.  Alex was depressed about how the job search is going, and that got me bummed out.  I really wanted to go eat at a restaurant, but ended up eating at home, but still had two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a grilled cheese with a bowl of carrot ginger soup.

While eating a couple of sandwiches is better then going all out on a gallon of ice-cream or some hamburgers, it does bring up a pressing matter of how I deal with eating.  We all know the feeling of being depressed and wanting to eat some comfort food to make you feel better.  The problem is, much like drinking when you are depressed to cheer up, the problem is still going to be there when you’re done.  My goal for the future is to find better ways of coping with being stressed or depressed and to not have my stomach instantly go to wanting to be fed with unhealthy food.

We redeemed ourselves the next day (I had the day off) by going on a 5 mile hike out in Muir woods.  I highly suggest going to this site, there are a ton of great trails and the views are amazing. View of Stinson beach from the top of Muir Woods

We brought some bananas, water, and some roasted peas with us as snacks on the hike, but found out quickly that the peas tasted too good to be legit.  The main issue we had with them is that even though the word roasted is used, they seemed to have a bit of oil on them and looking at the nutrition information they were 3g of fat and 120 cal. per ¼ cup.  This isn’t all together bad (much better then say potato chips), but not as healthy as we would have liked.  Our goal is to make our own, so that we know how much oil is being used to make them.

After the hiatus (and my birthday Saturday) and the carb fest that I had on Thursday night, I have gained a little weight back from where I was, but I am still down ten pounds since we started two weeks ago, tipping the scales at 185 right now.  I am happy with the progress so far, but as mentioned before, need to find better ways of keeping focused when faced with stressful situations.

She Said:

We fell of the blogging wagon for a few days, which I attribute to the 26th anniversary of Nathaniel’s birth as well as my sadness about not being able to find a job yet. I really want to get a full-time job involving journalism, photography or marketing via-social media but haven’t had any luck yet. My mild-existential crisis thursday did not motivate our blogging efforts.

Nathaniel had taken off Friday to go skydiving but when the skydiving company postponed his jump we decided to go hiking in Muir Woods. Muir Woods is only about 45 minutes from our apartment (with no traffic) and after the hike we hung out a little bit at Stinson Beach.

Saturday was a “free day” as well as Nathaniel’s Birthday but I tried to keep myself in check food-wise because sadly I only lost 2 lbs. last week. I also have no doubt that I gained it back on Saturday…

Although I am feeling kind of down on myself for not meeting last week’s health goals I am committing myself to a really strict food week with a lot of exercise.

Tonight – I made a healthy Mexican inspired veggie soup that I am excited to share with all of you tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

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Day 6: Healthy Date on a free day


We Said:

We went to see ‘Iron Lady’ last night, and it ended up being a double feature with ‘My Week With Marilyn’ meaning that we did not get back home and into bed until late.  The reason this is important is because we had a hike planned for today, and we needed to get up early to make sure it happened.  Many a Saturday starts with the attempt to get up that quickly demoralizes into laziness. Luckily, Nathaniel got up a half hour after he said he would and we made it out the door by nine.

The difference with this hike is that it wasn’t a mountain or out in the forest, but an urban hike.  As a couple trying to loose weight together, it is important to try and find activities that you enjoy that also provide exercise.  We planned on taking a walk/hike from the ferry building at the embarcadero to a restaurant in the Sunset.

San Francisco is roughly seven miles wide with some intense hills so we really had no idea how long the ‘urban hike’ was going to take.

We left the car at the Daily City Bart and took the train to the embarcadero stop, which is about a block away from the Ferry building. Saturdays it hosts a moderate sized farmers market with plenty of food vendors and vegetables.  Seeing as it is our free day, we had a, don’t laugh, vegan doughnut (that was delicious) and a chocolate chip sea salt cookie at the ferry building before taking off.

Our path (see above), lead through the city into Golden Gate park and ended in the outer sunset. We were going to have lunch at Outerlands but it was too busy so we ended up having a delicious snack at Beachside Café.  After Beachside we took muni back to the car.

All in all, we walked 7.8 miles today, while still enjoying the fact that it was free day and we could eat whatever we wanted.

In the past Nathaniel has mentioned that he would push free days to the max (KFC, McDonalds, brownies, cakes, etc) and while the entire idea of the day is to be rewarded for the week’s diet/exercise we try and not go overboard on what we have.

It was a great day full of good conversation and some amazing sites of the city along with a good amount of exercise.