Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic: Bravo for Breakfast (and a ton of personal celebrations!)

In tonight's meeting we discussed my favorite meal: Breakfast!

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal and since I've always been more of a carb/sweets person, breakfast foods have always appealed to me. I could eat them all day (and sometimes I did). But long ago I learned that what I eat for breakfast has a huge impact on what I eat the rest of the day. For instance, cereal not only didn't satisfy me, but it made me crave carbs and sugar all day (in retrospect, I think this is because I ate pretty unhealthy cereals, but I still avoid cold cereal in the morning). I also learned that if I don't have some protein in the morning, I get hungry very quickly. So now I make sure the breakfast grain products I buy have at least 6 g of protein per serving. That seems to be the magic number to hold me. I also noticed the sooner I start drinking water, the better I feel. And to satisfy my sweet-tooth as well as get my produce servings in, I have fruit. Every morning. I'm a huge fan of fruit!

We discussed what we eat for breakfast and shared ideas so that we might be inspired to think about breakfast differently and try something new or, potentially, more satisfying.

This is how I handle breakfast - My typical workday breakfast is 4-5 points:
  • 6:00am Coffee with Silk Vanilla Light Soy Milk (1/4 cup) .5 points
  • 8:30am Coffee with Soy Milk (1/4 cup) .5 points
  • 9:00-10:00 I have a serving of fruit. Recently it was a grapefruit every day. But it varies depending on what's in season or what I'm in the mood for. Right now it's berries, peaches, plums - whatever (1-2 points). And I have two points worth of a warm, high fiber whole grain (oat bran, Bob's High Fiber cereal, steel cut oats, etc). I often add canned pumpkin (1/2 cup) for zero points. It adds flavor, fiber and volume to the meal.
That 4 point breakfast spread out over 4 hours actually holds me quite a while. If I really pay attention to my comfort zone, I rarely get hungry before noon. In fact, I go to the gym or do my stair workout after eating only that food (and drinking about 6 glasses of water). I prefer to eat lunch after I workout (That's another thing I learned about myself: I noticed if I eat before working out, I get cramps and/or it slows me down.)

My weekend breakfast is pretty consistent too - When I wake up I have 2 servings of coffee with soy milk (1 point). Since I go to the gym at 11 on Saturday and Sunday, I usually don't consume anything else before that time (except water). When I come home I have fruit (1-2 points) and make pancakes (5-6 points, including syrup).

Another breakfast I used to make often (and still have occasionally as breakfast or any other time) is one of my absolute favorite meals: a bean burrito. (as shown in that link, it's only 3 points, but if I swap a small tortilla for a large tortilla, or add vegan sour cream, or vegan cheese, I can increase the bulk and the points for a more substantial meal).

So in a nutshell, this is the way I think of and arrange my breakfast:
  • Coffee (a vice and a must!)
  • Soy milk (for the coffee, but also helps with protein and calcium requirements)
  • Water (I love water and crave it! Also, one of the WW Good Health Guidelines)
  • Fruit (OMG I love fruit! Another WW Good Health Guideline)
  • Grains (from either the oat bran/steel cut oats, high fiber pancake mix or whole wheat tortilla. Another WW Good Health Guideline)
  • Protein (comes from the soy milk, beans, grains and/or pancake mix)
I hope that gives you some ideas for your own breakfasts. Maybe you'll pay attention to what you usually eat for breakfast and how it affects the rest of your day; perhaps even reconsidering what you eat or what you consider breakfast foods.

And now, here are my accomplishments since last Tuesday night's post!
  • I have been dutifully weighing myself everyday (this may not be a good idea for everyone, but I know it helps me. I also realize that number on the scale can fluctuate pretty wildly from day to day so I never put that much stock in it, but just getting on that scale makes me feel accountable, so I do it.)
  • I've resumed my daily workout routine and did a ton of activity this week: 
Weekly Activity ending 20100518
  • I actually (drumroll please...) TRACKED ALL WEEK for the first time in months! (applause!)
Weekly Food Journal ending 20100518
  • I remembered to take my vitamins 4 days (that's up from zero the previous week)
  • I was finally able to set up my new bike cyclometer with the help from my favorite guys at B's Bikes. Now I can keep track of how many miles I am biking again (you have no idea how much I missed that!)
  • This weekend while biking around Manhattan I tried something I haven't attempted in a while - pedaling while standing up (as opposed to just standing on the pedals and coasting, which I am also a big fan of). And by golly, I did it! I was so excited about this that I tweeted it. Since then, I've done it a bunch more times. I can't believe I am strong enough and my balance is good enough to do that now! It feels amazing!
  • I registered for another bike tour, the Tour de Brooklyn. That's just a tiny 18 mile run but it's through the borough of Kings, which I am lucky enough to call home. I'm looking forward to it!
  • I inflated and am sitting on my giant pink medicine ball right now. It's challenging but fun, and I get to have a mini core workout while I use the computer. Score.
  • Today I attempted a new (distance) record on the stairs: 120 flights (or 15 consecutive sets of 8 flights up and down) and I did that too - *with* weights (for an extra arm workout/challenge). My heart rate hit the highest ever since I've been using a HRM: 187. And I was sweating more than I ever have from any other workout in my life, but otherwise, I was fine and recovered in less than a minute after I stopped.
Here I am before:

Before attempting my new record

41 minutes and 13 seconds later:

After 120 flights

New Record! 120 flights! (with weights!)

  • I signed up for two vegan cooking classes @ Brooklyn Kitchen: Pizzettes and Appetizers. Sure, I have never entertained in my home, but it can't hurt to learn delicious new vegan recipes. Besides, maybe one day I will be slightly less terrified of having people in my apartment who might touch my vintage furniture. (Brooklyn Kitchen June calendar of classes here)
And this is what I will focus on this week:
  • Continue tracking my food and activity.
  • Focus on my Empowering Beliefs
  • Tap into all my own personal experience and visit the WW Tools for Living to prepare for a few event's this weekend: 1) I'm going out with a friend Friday night for drinks 2) Saturday morning and afternoon, I have the Punk Rope games and after party 3) Saturday night I am attending a friend's party in Brooklyn 4) Sunday I am attending a brunch at a friend's apartment. That's a lot of events in a short period. I can certainly do all of those things while on plan, I just need to think about how I am going to handle them. But it can be done.
  • You may not know this, but this Friday May 21 is Bike to Work Day!
Bike to Work Day - May 21st

and I intend to do that... sort of. Since my job is 28 miles away, I am going to bike what I can: to Grand Central Terminal that morning, ride my usual commuter train with my bike, and then bike to work from the station. The reason I am not biking the whole thing is because of the time it would take, not the distance that it is. So basically I am replacing the bus, subway and walking portion of my commute with my bike. I'm so excited for the cruiser to meet William and see White Plains. She's never been up there! It should be quite an adventure. (I'm going to document and post it in my commuting blog, but I'll link to it from here when it's up)

I have to say - although I was faced with a very difficult personal situation last week (one that I was not expecting nor happy with) and then dealing with all of the emotions as a result - it was a great week on plan and I have a lot to be proud of. It's been a long time since I had such a successful week. I almost forgot how good it feels. And it just makes me want to feel it again. That's my goal for the upcoming week: To continue that cycle of doing great and as a result, feeling great. 

Have a great week, everyone! And thank you all again for your support. It's meant so much to me. xo


  1. I've been on Silk soy milk for years now...can't go back to moo-juice.

    I have taken to using the microwave for a quick ease-to-cleanup way of cooking up eggs to put on a whole wheat FF wrap with salsa...yum.

    Congats on your stair record...you are looking firm!

  2. Yay! Congrats on a great week! Way to push yourself for your stair record! I bet that just felt amazing!
    You've become an inspiration to me. You're so honest, passionate, and I just love how you write! I've been thinking of doing WW online...
    Good luck with your goals for this upcoming week!
    Congrats again! :)

  3. ok girl... I live in the rockie mountains and all of a sudden i am jealous that you have flights to conquer... instead of huge frickn mountains?! say something to jolt me I have a LAZY problem.... you look great...( ITS MEL)

  4. YAY so proud of you! I dont have any stairs near me, so I cant do your workout, but boy does it look fun!

    Im sure William will love the Cruiser. Maybe he can even take her for a spin! (Pics are a must)

    Glad you had such a great week, heres hoping next week is even better!

  5. Sounds like the rest of your week was great! Yay! Wow, you rock those stairs. I still hate stairs but know how good a butt/leg workout it can be...I agree about sugary, processed cereals not filling you up. If I eat them (still can't resist the Honey Nut Cheerios sometimes) I'm hungry a couple of hours later. I try to have eggs or oatmeal for breakfast.

  6. Congrats on tracking all week! That's a huge accomplishment. And I'm very inspired by your new stair record! :)

  7. I'm glad you're feeling better. Awesome job getting back on track. Thanks for sharing the bean burrito recipe. I think I will try that this weekend.

  8. You.Are.Awesome. But, of course, you already know that!

  9. Fanstastic job on the week, lady! I love breakfast, too, and I recently made fake oatmeal using TVP. I'm not low-carbing, and I know you aren't either, but I just wanted something easy and healthy. It turned out great, and I love it with a banana. http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breakfast1/r/tvpoatmeal.htm

  10. I'm determined to experiment with your style of stretching breakfast out over several hours if I'm able to at my new job. My new office building has a GYM, which I am so uber pumped for, I cannot even explain.

    Great week, girlie! Way to keep personal upsets from getting you down! You are strong and a constant inspiration for me. :)

  11. congratulations on your great week, and the awesome miletstones.

    I have been off track the last month, and am ready to start living for me again. Thanks for inspiring me!

  12. One of my care moms commented yesterday on my circa early 1940's bicycle with pink streamers as she passed by it in the garage and mentioned this great blog she's been reading about a woman who dresses up and rides her pink bicycle around New York. I had to google to find you and I agree with her...you do have a great blog. Congrats on your weight loss accomplishments...I will be back to follow your adventures.

  13. Congrats on the new stair record!

    I have a dorky weekly pill box for my vitamins...I fill it on Sunday morning, stick it next to my tooth brush so I take them first thing in the morning...and I see at the end of the day if I missed, then just take them then.
    Not so many missed days anymore!

  14. Nice to see you so happy! What a great week you had. As always, you are an inspiration.

  15. ACK! You must tell me where you find vegan sour cream!!! And please don't say some random Manhattan mom-and-pop grocer...although for vegan sour cream I just might make the 3-and-a-half-hour drive!!!

    Have fun at the PR games this weekend. That might be worth the drive too...hmm...

  16. Can't wait to see the photos of your pink bike in Grand Central, now that will be a sight. Good luck on the ride. You may enjoy it so much you will do it often.

  17. Have you ever tried baked oatmeal? It's 2 c. oats, 2 c. soy milk (or almond milk), cinnamon or vanilla, some optional dried fruit and/or chopped nuts, and then it's all baked for 20 - 40 minutes. It's my favorite breakfast!!

    Have a great day, your blog is a regular stop!


  18. Work it, sister! You are looking so fab!