Jun 202016
 

June 19th was a big day!

First, it was Michael’s first Father’s Day. Logan woke me at 3am with a stuffy nose (he sounded terrible! Like a pug snorting) and then he woke me at 7am really congested. My poor little guy. I called the advice nurse and she suggested some saline nose drops and I tried that and it cleared up the problem almost immediately. So Logan was in much better spirits for his first Father’s Day after that.

I was up, it was early, and I got to fix Michael breakfast in bed (he usually wakes up before me, so this time I got to do it!). I made scrambled eggs and hashbrowns.

IMG_2025

And Logan gave him his present. 🙂 A card, a book and a new cutting board that I got personalized for the occasion.

FullSizeRender-1

I hope it was a nice day for Michael because he does so much for us. 🙂 It will be fun next year when Logan is older and can “help” make a card or gift. After breakfast the baby took a long nap, which was nice for everyone because Michael got to relax and do what he wanted (watch golf) and I got to go to the pool and swim.

IMG_2035

When I got home I took some photos of Mr. Happy:

IMG_6212

IMG_6200

June 19th was also the anniversary of our first date. Hard to believe it’s been 8 years since that date. We met online a few months before and were just friends for months. Then Memorial Weekend we met in real life and hung out a few times and then had our first date–not as just friends. 🙂 We went to Eleni’s Greek restaurant in Sellwood (which is sadly closed now) and had delicious food and really good wine and the rest is history.

I thought it would be nice to go out to dinner, just the two of us, for our anniversary. It was also the first time we were leaving Logan with a babysitter. That was…odd! I was a little anxious, of course, but mostly excited about going out just the two of us. My cousin Anna came over to babysit.

We ended up going to Gino’s in Sellwood. The food and service is always good there. We started with the Caesar Salad (best one in Portland) and I realized it had been a year since I had Caesar Salad! So tasty.

FullSizeRender-1

Their menu changes daily and it’s always something different, with a few staples that are always on there. For entrees Michael got the lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and I got the Spring Onion Pasta dish. My dish was kind of like a pesto on the pasta. It was really different and interesting. I’ve never had kohlrabi before so it was cool to try something new.

Michael got the Walking Man IPA beer (it’s really good) and I got a glass of Pinot Grigio that was tasty and light and felt like summer. It was a nice, sunny evening and we enjoyed our leisurely dinner out sans baby.

IMG_2042

It definitely weird at first to be gone…then it felt like “the old days” when it was just the two of us. So strange. We talked about adult things and did our best not to talk about the baby. Anna did send one picture that was too cute and made me smile:

IMG_2041

(I’m so glad it was easy for Anna! He wasn’t fussy and only required one outfit change while we were gone!)

After dinner Michael and I decided to stop over at Papa Haydn’s for dessert. It was such a nice, warm summer night so we sat outside in their garden patio.

IMG_2043

Michael and I usually split dessert when we go out but this time we each got our own. Livin’ large here! Michael got the cheesecake:

IMG_2045

And I got the berry crisp. It was a compote of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in a brandy sauce topped with gingerbread crumble and vanilla ice cream. It was so amazing and refreshingly light for a dessert.

IMG_2046

We savored our desserts and adult time and then it was time to head home. I picked up some treats for Anna as a thank you:

IMG_2047

It was such a nice day all around. It was great getting out just the two of us and it was also nice coming home and snuggling with my little guy.

May 252016
 

My Weight Loss Story – Part 2

by Michael

 

I listen to a lot of podcasts at work and some of them had some health and fitness related guests on that were discussing the benefits of the ketosis diet. The basis of this diet is that consume about 50% of your calories from fats and forego the carbs. In doing so, you will optimize your body to burn fats as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. This was a new concept to me but I was very curious to learn more about it. Then I found some podcasts that were either specifically about health and fitness or had regular guests on to discuss those topics. Before I continue, I want to state that I am not on a ketosis diet because I feel like it’s a little too difficult for me to strictly adhere to. There are however, a lot of things that I have taken from it that I do really like.

I remember a time in the 80s where buzz phrases like “low in fat” started to appear on the packages of products in the grocery stores. Years later, this has evolved into phrases like “an excellent source of whole grains” and “zero trans fats” which would lead you to believe that products like this are in fact, ideal for your health when in reality, a low-fat chip for example would 1 – taste terrible and 2 – is likely loaded with salt and sugar so it will actually taste like something that you would enjoy. In other words, it’s probably not good for you.

One of the shows I listened to had a guest on that was discussing the benefits of a high fat diet and specifically mentioned that cavemen were not out harvesting grains so they’d have enough energy to hunt in order to survive. They were eating animals and produce and the fats they consumed became their source of fuel.

I dug deeper into the topic and discovered that then ketosis diet was popular among the ultra-endurance athletes that were doing things like running 100-mile races. Athletic accomplishments like this, while impressive, are not something that I’m interested in yet the benefits of the diet are still compelling to me.

The guest would go on to give examples of what you should be eating via multiple choice questions. Time after time, he would suggest the highest item in fat or the item in the list that you’d consider to be the most sinful of the group. One example really stuck out to me and that was when he recommended eating a Snickers bar over some other items because of the items mentioned, it was the highest in fat content and therefore would be most likely to satisfy you for the longest period of time. He was clear to recommend this was only something that he’d recommend in a bind and this was not something that you should normally do. The thing that I took away from this was that if you were going to cheat on your diet, go for it. Don’t eat the fat-free frozen yogurt because a facsimile of the thing you’re craving won’t actually satisfy your desires. Instead, just get the ice cream that has all of the fat and sugar in it that you’re craving. Don’t eat it often and you should be fine.

Another guest on another show had uttered a few phrases that really resonated with me. Don’t count calories, make calories count. The other thing he said was something about earning or working hard enough so that you deserve to eat your carbohydrates. These phrases weren’t new to me but they really struck a nerve this time.

On to the diet. There are a few principles that I follow.

1 – Whenever possible, eat the fattiest version available. Gone are the days of tasteless boring skinless chicken breasts. Hello chicken thighs pan fried in coconut oil and kale sautéed with bacon!

2 – Snack on the fattiest snack items. My go to items are salami, cheeses, nuts, avocados, and veggies with Greek yogurt based dips.

3 – The carbs I eat most often are those that have a low-glycemic index value. This means that legumes and beans are the preferred carbohydrate.

4 – It’s OK to cheat on when I ride my bike a little because I will burn a ton of calories on those days. This is when I’ll have a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, or glass of wine.

A typical day of eating looks like this for me:

Breakfast – 2 pieces of bacon, 2 scrambled eggs cooked in the bacon grease, topped with avocado and jalapeños. Sometimes I’ll throw a fistful of sweet potatoes in if I feel sluggish. When I go running before work, I’ll eat Greek yogurt with blueberries afterward because I won’t have time to cook.

Lunch – Black beans topped with cheese and jalapeños, a spinach salad with olive oil and vinegar, a chicken thigh or two, and some avocado.

IMG_4439

IMG_4445

Dinner – A steak, Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon, and a side salad.

In addition, I’ll eat one or two snacks from the list I mentioned earlier.

IMG_1531

So what’s missing? Low-fat foods and grains – the very things that we’ve been told to consume a lot of because they’re good for us. I’m convinced now that it’s all a lie. I also don’t eat much sugar. I’ll eat some in a natural form, like what comes with fruits and veggies, but I’m fortunate that I don’t tend to have a sweet tooth. I primarily eat these foods after I exercise to help stave off an energy crash and it tends to prevent me from committing larger infractions.

I’ve been eating like this for now for a few months. The results were:

  • I have dropped 25 pounds and a pant size.
  • All of the fat I’m eating has kept me happy and I feel like this diet is very sustainable over the long haul. I don’t feel like I’m starving myself or seriously depriving myself of the foods that I love.
  • I’ve also had blood work done and all of my stats have improved – my weight is down, my cholesterol is down, and my resting heart rate is down.
  • My BMI has lowered by 3%.

I don’t necessarily have an end game for what I want to weigh. While losing weight is necessary for me to achieve my fitness goals, it’s not my primary focus which in a way, makes all of this a bit easier since I’m not constantly focusing on losing weight. Instead, I’m focused on biking, running, pull-ups, and push-ups. Anything that makes this stuff easier is good in my book.