Friday, February 21, 2014

NEW YEAR NEW ME! (insert other cliche titles you can think of)

DISCLAIMER: I talk about personal health issues in this blog which I usually don't share with just ANYONE but I am coming to realize that I have this story for a reason. ALSO, I talk about how I used to drink Natural Light beer..don't judge me.

OKAY, So my title might be a littler over the top...or under whelming. Whichever makes more sense...
Nonetheless, I entered the new year without making my usual resolutions of: "I'm going to lose weight/get fit/work out more!"

I'm 27 years old and I have finally realized that those types of resolutions are least in terms of me and my life. 

I have been slightly obsessed with nutrition and health since about the 9th grade. It has become second nature for me to choose healthy foods when I grocery shop, or to avoid fried foods on restaurant menus. Working out is a little harder, but being active is always something I strive towards. I go through slumps (which is where I am at now), but somehow I realize my human-ness in all of my efforts. I am not perfect. I will fail. But I will always keep trying. So, who I AM is someone who will always care about health, nutrition, and fitness. I don't need to make resolutions to lose weight and become more healthy because it's become a daily desire for me. I am okay with my human-ness. Thus, I didn't make any resolutions this year.

I came up with a word for my year...kind of like a theme for 2014. I'll talk about that in a later blog. 

Warning: Real Talk below. Stop if you enjoy jolly fun stories. Continue if you're okay with moments of vulnerability:

I have often felt insecure when I tell people that i'm a Kinesiology major. Mostly because I don't look the part, ie: buff/fit, and tan.

Post high school, I found out that I had two conditions which basically cause my body to not want to lose weight as easily as a healthy functioning body would. Sounds like an excuse right? I was diagnosed (sounds pretty dramatic) with hypothyroidism and PCOS. " It's well known that hypothyroidism causes a weight increase together with a decrease in basal metabolic rate and thermogenesis [1]" If you have a background in Biology or Exercise Physiology, that sentence might make sense to you. If not, basically, i'm not making up excuses when I say my body does not metabolize fat the same way a healthy/normal functioning body would. PCOS is a hormone related issue also which I don't care to get into. 

All of this is to say, working out and eating right has not only become a journey to achieving how I desire to look on the outside, but a journey to discovering how I want to nourish my body from the inside out and bring it back to its optimal level of functioning as best as possible, and hopefully, without resorting to lifelong medications. 

I remember when I was at my "best" physically. Oh the good ol' days. I was running 5 days a week, 3-5 miles a day. Great. However, I was not nourishing my body with food at the time. I was not supplying it with enough fat, calories, and nutrients. In spite of how I looked, which was pretty great compared to how I look now, my BMI was still too high yet I appeared healthy. I typically ate a couple eggs for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and had a couple beers (natty lights around 100 cals. each) for dinner. I would love to look that way again, but I would also love to feel great too. 

So this is me, accepting what I've been given (my annoying conditions which contribute to obesity), and acknowledging that I must strive towards health first and foremost, and enjoy the journey that I am on now in order to achieve my goal of a happy, healthy body from the inside out. 

What does this have to do with being a beer snob? Everything and nothing at the same time. I imagine this will come into play when I accept the fact that, though I love craft beer, it cannot be the hobby i'd like it to be for me. Being a beer snob is a great description of me, currently. I do imagine one day it will be something I look back and laugh at. So for now, it might make sense as a title for my blog; it might be a cute and funny description of a tidbit on my life; but for me, it's going to be stories of my journey towards being healthy...which is what I am passionate about. 

So, welcome to my HEALTH BLOG (of sorts)!

[1] Rotondi M, Leporati P, La Manna A, Pirali B, Mondello T, Fonte R, Magri F, Chiovato L. Raised serum TSH levels with morbid obesity: is it enough to diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism? Eur J Endocrinol. 2009;160:403–408. [PubMed]

Friday, November 15, 2013

Officially Finished

Sorry. I didn't keep you all updated during the juice detox part of the diet. I completed it without cheats.

The entire diet lasted from Oct 1st- Nov 8.

I'M DONE! (with the 40 day diet)

I learned a lot about myself. I have a lot of will power...A lot of self control that I haven't given myself a chance to realize because I haven't tried to deny myself things for extended periods of time like this diet did.

I am still sticking with a mellow version of the Paleo diet. Some call it Primal. I indulge when the time is right.

The other day I enjoyed St. Arnold's pumpkinator. It was delicious.

As far as this blog goes, I can't decide which direction to take it. Diary of a Beer Snob can be deceiving because you think "oh, this girl is going to teach us new things about new beer and show pretty pictures of tap handles," but in reality it's been more of a blog about my journey into becoming healthy...and that is my true passion. Don't get me wrong, I love beer. I also love cooking healthy food, learning about nutrition, exercise, and all other forms of holistic approaches to becoming the best person you can become.

I will be brainstorming on what to do with this here "Diary of a Beer Snob" blog. If you'd like, follow me on instagram: cleeper1 #diaryofabeersnob 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Now for the hard part....

So...I survived the "easy" part of the diet. You know, the whole no beer, no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no legumes part of the diet. I started the hard part yesterday. The juicing and smoothie ONLY part of the diet. (Not only can I not have beer, I cannot have alcohol of any kind. Yikes. For a gal my age, with the friends I have, and the job I have, 7 days without alcohol is a lot harder than you would expect.)

Day 1 began yesterday; it was fine. I was hungry, but I had 3 smoothies and some creamed spinach/broccoli so I was satisfied ENOUGH. But this is obviously not about satisfaction. This is about denying myself things that I want and learning to have self control. I like to see what I can do. How strong I can be. The end result will be well worth it. I am typically seen as a well balanced, controlled person. However, it never hurts to challenge myself further and succeed. It's empowering. This whole experience has been empowering and has renewed my passion for health and nutrition.

Day 2: I juiced carrots, chard, apples, spinach, kale, and ginger this morning.

Story Time:

I remember I first became interested in health around the age of 11 or 12. My mom got on the whole "no fat/low fat" diet fad and I suddenly became aware of everything I ate. Some would say that is not a good thing for a little girl in her tweens. I disagree. I did not become obsessed with weight. I became intrigued by food, and it's effect on how people feel and look. (Not enough people are aware or even interested in what they put into their bodies...the vessels that will carry them throughout their life.) Thus began my journey into studying and researching all that I could about food. Throughout high school I would bring tuna, salads, and sunflower seeds for lunch and my classmates would be having pizza and chicken express. I also carried around a gallon of water. I got made fun of in the nicest of ways. Thankfully I went to a small private school where being weird was actually the popular thing to do. Long story short, after many years of researching and loving health/nutrition I found myself studying Kinesiology in college which is where I still am, and still pursuing knowledge where health/nutrition are concerned. There is an endless amount to be learned and it's not what your high school health books taught you. Have you heard of old news? Well, everything in those health books is old news. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The diet...and the confession

13 days and counting...

I'm sure you have all been wondering about the details of my diet. Well, I will not make you wait any longer.
This is the plan in a nut shell:

    • DAY 40- WATER ONLY.
This might seem somewhat extreme. Or you might think it's no big deal. Typically people tend to worry when "no eating" or "juice fasts" are involved in a diet. This is not a bad thing for the body to go through. The body adapts to fasting. Here, Mark (popular guy who knows his stuff when it comes to the body and a "primal" lifestyle.) explains some of the benefits of allowing the body to go through times of fasting. And if you haven't noticed already, this is modeled after the paleo diet. The paleo diet is extreme, yes. Once the 40 days are over, I will follow paleo about 80/20 % of the time to maintain some balance. 

Anyway, I'm hungry lately for all of the wrong cream sandwiches, mac and cheese, ice cream, pizza. Haha. I have not given in once...when it comes to food! I have cheated once *gasp* eek! and I'll confess now. I had an almond milk PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE. There, I said it. The original diet (according to my roommate Carmen who has done this diet before with her bff) allows for 4 cheat days throughout the 40 days. I don't mind cheat days. I understand cheat days. They are fine. However, I am really looking forward to seeing how my body responds after 40 days of this type of restriction. Thus, I will not cheat anymore on this diet. 

I am still missing beer. And over the weekend, my work tapped 2 beautiful kegs of beer that I couldn't taste. Not even a sip. You have probably stopped feeling sorry for me by now. It's okay. I am doing this to myself...all with my own free will. 

In other news: The Walking Dead premiered tonight.  Zombie <3.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I am officially HUNGRY!

It's been a week...and I'm finally hungry! I think it's safe to say that I literally wanted to eat everything yesterday. And even this morning on my way to school, I heard a snippet of tejano music and immediately desired and even smelled chips, salsa, and queso. Can you even really smell chips? I was never aware that they had a smell until I supposedly smelled them this morning! Anyway...

I have successfully completed my first week of no grains and no beer. 

Last night I went to a work party celebrating our one year anniversary of being open. When I got the invite to the party, I knew that free beer was imminent. I had to stay strong. And I did. However, I did fall into the hands of my rebound: wine. There was a moment when I was pouring someone a beer (offering a friendly hand...and maybe because I wanted to be close to my long lost love) and as it was pouring beautifully out of the tap, everything went into slow a movie. I've never seen beer look so pretty in a solo cup. 

After the work party, we all ended up at the nearest dive bar. I think it's safe to say that I was the only person in there sipping from a stemmed glass. I am never that girl. Though it may have looked like defeat in that smokey dive bar, NOT drinking beer was a triumph. Normally I might scoff at anyone who orders wine or champagne where it's common knowledge that beer and your basic cocktails are the only items listed on the menu (wait, I don't even think they have a menu...hypothetically speaking then), I was able to get past my notion that I was one of  "those people" and sip out of my stemware happily.

*"those people": Anyone who is not following the unsaid but well known rules in an atmosphere where locals often hang out. Easy to spot in a crowd. Typically doing/saying the opposite of what is socially acceptable in said environment. 

Work Party After Party at local dive bar 

Continuing in the journey. More to come...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Instagram/Twitter/ etc you know the drill

In light of my diet, I've been taking photos of my food...actually, scratch that... I've always taken photos of my food (eyes cast down...shame shame... Yes I am that cliche instagrammer...)

Anyway, if you'd like to follow me on instagram: cleeper1 is the name. #diaryofabeersnob is the hash tag (yes I know you're picturing Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake...*pause for laughter*)

Crystal_leeper is twitter. 

Alright. Go follow me!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

< Beer = > Wine

Okay, so if I'm being honest, I have basically replaced beer with wine. That will soon stop. Although I'm enjoying vino on a daily basis, I think this diet will not serve its full purpose if I do not learn how to say no to an alcoholic beverage. This diet has stages...basically it starts off "easy" and just gets more and more difficult as time passes. Therefore, in the first week or so of the diet, there is room shall I put it....lack of discipline...more indulgence...thus the reason for my wine drinking. I will eventually run out of wine and I vow to not buy any more for a while. Glad we have that on the table.

Cravings today: dark chocolate

I went to the market this evening and saw delicious dark chocolate everywhere. Of course, I denied myself and succeeded at only glimpsing at it as I passed by...minimal salivation happened. Good.

On another note, I haven't felt too ridiculously hungry. I've been eating plenty of protein and veggies. So far so good. Bring on tomorrow.