Welcome to Optimal Health Mama

Thanks for cruising by and becoming part of my personal revolution of self-love, health, and hilarity!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Dream Team

I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for.  I don't think a thousand blog entries could come close to covering the awesomeness of the Dream Team I have collected over the years.  I have friends who challenge me, who make me laugh, who support me.  They truly love me, and not just the surface me.  They love the psycho, nitty gritty Jane that not everyone sees.  They get me.  And they have the innate ability to call or text exactly as I'm thinking about them.    They are pretty much the Dionne Warwicks of friends.   They know what they need to say to me in times of crisis.  They know that I call sequins "big round glitters."  They understand my psychotic obsession with wellness.  They tell me I am beautiful, smart and call me a MILF on a regular basis.  They tell me to knock it off when I need to be told.  They make fun of me mercilessly and I love it. 

I guess this is kind of a love letter to my friends.  Our meeting and spending this life together was no accident.  I am so blessed to have each and every one of you.  Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh coffee- you currently taste like ass

Sorry I have been so slacktastic over the past couple of weeks with here in the bloggisphere.  As many of you know, I started my internship last week and have spent 20 hours a week out of the home.  Two of those hours probably would have been devoted to blogging.  I am sorry, and I will try to be better, but no promises.

Something really interesting happened to me this weekend:  I tried to drink decaf coffee and failed.  TWICE.

After not drinking coffee for months, I have finally lost my taste for it!  In the past, if I would sneak in a cup every once in awhile, I would be craving it for days afterward.  I do have to be honest, my coffee was always 1/2 c. cream, 1/2 c. coffee.  My favorite was that freaking French Vanilla Coffeemate which I am thoroughly convinced is laced with crack.  I could drink a bottle of it chased with another bottle of it and a tablespoon of coffee. 

I love being so "over" coffee.  It's like finally being over an ex who had a bad attitude, horrendous breath, and gave you anxiety.  It is one less substance on my "dirty list" that needed to go.  But the best part of this process is, it went freely.  I didn't have to kick and scream and throw a temper tantrum to get it out of my life.  (meat, not so much- still tantruming on that one)

I wonder what the next stop is going to be on the detox train. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Paleo Friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs

Last night I whipped up this quick dinner when I finished my first wonderful day of internships:

1 package lean ground turkey
1 tbspn dried basil
1 tspn Himalayan Garlic Salt or sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350
Put the ground turkey and spices in a bowl and squish it around with your hands, form into meatballs.  Place on a broiler pan and put in the oven

1 Spaghetti Squash
pinch of Himalayan salt or sea salt
1 tbspn olive oil

Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds.  Place the squash face down on in an baking pan or casarole dish with a little bit of olive oil
Bake the meatballs and squash for about 30 minutes:  take out the meatballs, poke the squash with a fork to see if it is soft.  If it is still soft, leave it in the oven and check it every 10 minutes until the fork pokes through the skin.  When it's done, take the squash out of the oven and scrape the meat of the squash out with a spoon.  I hold the squash with a pot holder when it is hot.  Place some of the squash with a little oil and salt on a plate, top with turkey meatballs- enjoy ;0)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Practicing what you Preach

So as much as I love the raw diet, the raw diet does not love me back.  Sad but true.  But like I said in my challenge a couple of weeks ago, you have to listen to your body and do what works for you.

After the holiday, I started doing raw and have been at it for the past 6 months with periodic meat benders.  As psychotic PMS style symptoms, grain cravings that have caused me to eat cheese pizza, and PMS like mood swings started coming back into the picture, I had to reevaluate what was working for me and what was clearly not.

When I met with my nutritionist hero over a year ago, he told me that grains did not work for me.  I shouldn't even eat the healthiest grains, like quinoa and brown rice.  He also told me to keep my fruit intake to a minimum and NO sugar- not even agave or honey.  This is due to blood sugar issues that I have.  So what have I been doing?  Not listening, of course!  I have been eating a ton of fruit, lots of brown rice protein powder, buckwheat groats, agave, and honey.  At first, I was okay, but then months and months of eating like this has sent my body back into horror furry.

So I decided to start eating my nutrition plan diet again.  Meat, eggs, vegetables, some fruit (only low glycemic- berries, grapefruit, green apples), butter and olive oil, Greek yogurt, coconut milk and water, nuts and seeds.  All of these products organic.  My goal is to keep my raw balance at 60% raw- 40% cooked.  So far, the change is working wonders on how I am feeling.  I can't believe the shift in my cravings.  A couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get enough fruit, raw chocolate, protein powder and wasn't really feeling veggies.  Today, I shit you not, I ate two mixing bowls FULL of salad (and I will probably be shitting myself later).   I didn't even put olive oil on the second salad!  When I did get a mild sweet craving, I mixed a little bit of coconut water and plain, unsweetened coconut milk.  It tasted like HEAVEN!  So here is what my day looked like:

1/2 c. blueberries
1 c. greek yogurt
8oz kefir water to drink

1 chicken breast
3-4 c. salad with 3 tbspn olive oil
1 whole avocado
1 c. radish sprouts

8oz coconut milk
1 oz coconut water

5 c. salad with no dressing
1/4 c. blue cheese
1/4 c. walnuts

It was odd not to snack all day.  I have been grazing and grazing on the raw diet.  It seems like I am seeking food all day long.  Since I started back on the old regime I had no desire to snack.  I felt full.  Some people thrive so beautifully on the raw diet.  I am so jealous of them!!!  I wish I could make it work.  But from now on I am going to practice what I preach when it comes to listening to my body and doing what works for me.

p.s. I dropped a little more body fat!!!   Thank you Crossfit!!!!  I am very interested to see what happens to my body composition after making these changes.  As of today, I am 19.5% body fat, getting closer and closer to my goal of 18% ;0)  YAY!!!  Hopefully this dietary change won't impede my progression.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


This morning I was sipping my wheat grass juice and I thought about how much my pallet has changed over the past few years.  This question entered my mind:

If you could take a pill to make you your ideal weight, give you an amazing amount of energy, and would keep your illnesses, aches, and pains at a minimum- BUT- it made everything taste like shit.  Would you do it?

I think a lot of us would say yes.  That's our Western mentality working for us.  Just pop a pill, just add water, INSTANT RESULTS.  Sadly, as most of us who have purchased something off an infomercial have found, the world does not work this way.

Changing to the raw food diet is kind of like popping that shit pill.  It changes your pallet completely.  Not that your meals taste like turds or anything, but at first, your brain, your body, and you senses seem very underwhelmed.  When you eat the Standard American Diet (acronym SAD, ironically and truthfully) you are constantly overwhelmed with stimulants, addictive substances, and other shit that makes food addicting and taste FABULOUS!!!!  Frankly, a cheese pizza with pepperoni, cheese, extra cheese, and an extra helping of additives seems WAY more awesome than an apple. 

When you begin to transition to a raw diet, your entire being has to relearn what real food tastes like and how it effects the body.  You have to scrap everything you have been taught about nutrition from your doctors, the media, and the latest fad diets and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  You cannot count protein grams and calories.  The psychological adjustment is also very, very difficult and for me has proven to be the hardest thing to overcome.  It really isn't that complicated.  The key to moving yourself into a happier, healthier you is this:


Eating right has gives and takes.  Let's be honest.  It is so much more fun to eat pizza and beer, but it sucks shit when you can't zip your jeans and have no motivation to have sex because you feel like a fat ass loaf.  If you eat right, yeah, your wheat grass juice is no Coca Cola, but you have energy to spare, your ass looks fantastic in your jeans, and your sexy self is dying to show off that hot bod.  For me, it's worth the sacrifice.  And eventually, guess what???  The feeling you get from eating healthy foods outweighs the pallet pleasing sensation you get from the shit food you are used to eating. 

This feeling of eating healthy is similar to that feeling you get when you exercise.  Sometimes you have to drag yourself to the gym, but you bet your ass, when you are finished, you are proud of yourself and are glad that you did it. 

Last night, Nate hit his first raw food road block.  Lucky for me, I am skilled at ball busting, and was able to assist him through his first "almost" psychotic break.  At roughly 8:30 p.m. on the beautiful couch, in my perfectly pink living room, this dialogue took place:

N: Hey, do we have any peanut butter?  I want to make apples and peanut butter." 

J: No. Peanut Butter is not raw and Molly polished off the Almond Butter yesterday.  There is a raw chocolate bar in the fridge if you want that.  

N: Nah, I'm cool.

J: Can I tell you something funny?

N:  Sure

J:  I read somewhere that if you are TRULY hungry you will eat absolutely anything put in front of you, but things that are craving specific are purely psychological.

N: I am going to remember that and use it against you

J: Perfect.  I'm sure you will have plenty of opportunities.

You cannot eat shit, not exercise, and expect to look like Jennifer Aniston.  It just doesn't work that way.  Sad, but true.  So it's time to make some CHA CHA CHA CHANGES!!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kickin' ass, takin' Nate

Nate made it through day 1 completely raw unscathed and ready for day 2.  This week is going to be a "work out the kinks" week for me as far as figuring out his appetite cycles and what foods are working for him. 

There is a sector of Raw Foodists called Fruititarians.  They basically eat fruits and greens and keep their fat calories below 10% of their total caloric volume.  I could never thrive like this.  It totally works for Nate.  He loves fruit and can go all day on fruit despite a heavy activity level.  I noticed this last summer when Nate would only take oranges and grapefruits for his lunches.  At the time, I called him manorexic, but in reality, he works better on lighter foods.  He can go hours without eating and only drinking coffee for breakfast.  This just reinforces my new revelation:  EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and DIFFERENT BODIES THRIVE IN DIFFERENT WAYS!!!

Replacing Nate's morning coffee with a green juice was perfect for him.  He ate fruit for lunch, no Larabar as planned because he is tired of them and we were out of his favorite flavors.  He did note that he was STARVING at three o'clock.  So today's lunch included extra fruit.  Dinner tonight is going to be a mango, pineapple, kiwi, green smoothie with an Asian/Avocado salad on the side. 

He said that physically he feels no different.  That's a good thing I guess.  I would rather that than him having major detox symptoms.  I will continue to keep you posted!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nate and I Together as Raw

Today is day 1. 

I made juices last night and sent my love on his merry way today.  He agreed wholeheartedly to 30 days my way.  No coffee, no pizza, no cheat days.  I truly believe that the best way to feel the benefits of raw and what I call "vibin'" is to commit fully to the process. 

I am also making a few tweaks along this 30 day journey.  No cheats for me either.  And you all know how I love to cheat!  No booze, no coconut milk ice cream, no dining out unless its at Raw Can Roll or Oasis. 

One of the main goals I have for myself and for Nate is to do all fruits and veggies before noon.  We are doing this in the form of Green Juices and Green Smoothies.  I was nervous given the amount that I work out that I would be light headed during my workout just going on vegetable juice, but I was just fine.  In fact, I felt light and strong.  Nate does construction, so I'm hoping he is also feeling light and strong, not faint and pissed.  I did load Nate's juice with fruit.  He needs the calories and tolerates the sugar well.  I do veggie juices because fruit sugar in juice isn't the best for my blood sugar. I work best on green smoothies where the fiber of the fruits and veggies is still intact so fruit sugars release more slowly into the blood stream.  

Here is what Nate's juice looked like:
2 pears, 3 apples, 4 carrots, 1 whole bunch of kale, 8 tablespoons of kefir water mixed in to help him with allergies and skin issues.  

My juice was:
1/2 bulb and leaves of fennel, 1 beet, beet greens, 1 cucumber, 2 carrots, a few tablespoons of kefir water. 

Frankly, lunch has me stuffed!  I made a green smoothie with 3 bananas, 1 cup of pineapple, coconut water, and 2 cups of spinach.  YOW!  I am really struggling to finish.  At this point, I'm not sure if a snack is in my future, but I might also snack on a Larabar.  Nate's lunch is fresh fruit and later he will have a Larabar for a snack.  He is going to have another mason jar of juice for dinner and I am going to do a Sunwarrior smoothie with coconut water. 

Nate isn't a big fan of protein powders.  He doesn't like their grit and never seems to digest them well no matter if they are raw or whey.  This is another example of how important it is to listen to your body- what works for one doesn't always work for another.  I do great on high protein and veggie juices.  Nate exists way better on lots of fruit. 

More updates tomorrow!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sorry for your luck

Thank God Nate never reads my blog.  That being said, I'm about to go all stealth on his ass.  I have recently been inspired by my friend and her husband doing a 30 day cleanse together.  Nate is about to embark on a  similar cleanse with me...but he has no idea.  I'm laughing my ass off as I am writing this.

The goals of the cleanse are as follows: 
1. To bond
2. So he gets a taste of how amazing it feels when you eat raw (with my lofty hope that he will continue with this because he feels so damn great!)
3. To simplify my life (cooking 2 sets of meals all the time sucks)
4. To help him lose those pounds he complains about on occasion.
5. To have the whole family go 30 days meat free

Here is the plan-
I am going to juice 4 jars of juice every night- 2 for him, 2 for me- and put 2 in the freezer to preserve vital nutrients.  Our lunch juices can thaw out during the day. The other two will have to just oxidize a little in the fridge because I don't want him to have to bust out the juicer before work.  And you all know my ass is not going to get out of bed to do it.  Some of the recipes I plan on using for my hubby's delicate palate include:
pear/apple/any green
orange/any green/carrot

I am going to be using vegetable juices because of my low tolerance for sugar.  We will be drinking 1 jar for breakfast and 1 jar for dinner.

Nate currently eats a raw lunch, so I'm going to keep him on his same lunch of Larabars and fruit.  My lunches are going to be green smoothies.  We will both have a mason jar full of Sunwarrior and coconut water as a snack. 

Sounds pretty good huh?  Now I just have to get Nate to commit!!!!  But I think with the enticing promises of weight loss, prepacked lunches, and a happy wife, I think he will be game.  Wish me luck ;0)  If I get to the store tonight, we will start tomorrow!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To: My Scale

Dear Scale,

Thank you for all of your hard work, but your services are no longer needed at this time.  I appreciate your consistency and your truthfulness, but I have come to some very important conclusions.  I don't need you anymore.  You create numbers.  Numbers that do not rank value.  Numbers that do not determine beauty.  Numbers that do not determine my worth.  Numbers that no longer serve me.  Our love affair has been tumultuous, some days you were my best friend and other days my worst enemy.  But my new love affair is with myself.  I look in the mirror everyday.  I look strong, I look fit, I look healthy.  My focus is no longer on pleasing you, it is on pleasing me. 

Your new home will be in my closet.  You will be periodically called upon if my clothes no longer fit to assess the damage, but that is it. You will like it there!  I have some beautiful high heels that you can flirt with. 

Thanks again for your loyal self-esteem boosts and beat downs, but I can take it from here. 


Monday, May 2, 2011

Jane's Feel Good Plan- Challenge 1

Okay.  Here it is.  My brilliant idea of the day. 
Let me break it down for you:

I don't drink tequila because it makes me act like an asshole, I end up slapping people, and I get a wicked hang over.  It sucks for me, therefore, I don't drink it.  I drink vodka.  It never gives me a hangover, I like how I feel when I drink it, I still act like an asshole, but not a mean asshole.  Just me, but WAY cooler (noted sarcasm).

Food is the same way.  There are certain foods that make me feel like shit when I eat them (raw nuts, wings, cheese, wheat, beans, eggs, peanut butter).  There are certain foods that make me feel AMAZING (raw chocolate, sunwarrior, green smoothies, greek yogurt, steak, fish, sweet potatoes)!!!   In theory, you should never walk away from a meal feeling like you are in the third trimester of a pregnancy and  want to fall over and die.  You should walk away from a meal feeling energized.  Seriously, I'm not kidding!!!

Here is my brilliant hypothesis:  You should never practice another person's diet.  Diets fail because they are not "you" specific.  They are general and are based on science and theories, which is great, but what is good for one does not always work for another.    The best way to find out what will work for you is to meet with a nutritionist/allergen specialist and figure out a specifically tailored diet plan.  But honestly, who has the time or the money.  So let's do it together.

We are going to create a YOU specific diet. 

So here is my 1st challenge in Jane's Feel Good Plan: pay attention to your diet.  Pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain foods and certain amounts. If you are feeling bloated, gross, and tired, it might be the food, it might be the amount, or it could be a combination of the two.  Make adjustments and experiment.  Think about foods that you absolutely LOVE that are good for you and make you feel great. Write them down.  If eating 6 wings worked and you still felt energized, but 12 wings left you feeling nasty, make a note of it.  That will help you from being a repeat food dumb ass like me.  

Examples of Good Food for me:  I LOVE bananas.  Bananas never give me a stomach ache, they always taste yummy, and they are healthy. Another food I can eat the hell out of is steak.  I never leave a meal after I have eaten a steak feeling heavy or gross.  It works for me even when my ethics wishes it wouldn't.  

Example of Bad Food for me:  I cannot eat sugar.  If I eat sugar, within 12 hours I have a migraine headache and am down for the count.  It tastes great, and God knows I love desserts and baking, but it makes my life hell.  Some less serious offenders include the ones listed above.  I just can't eat bready things,too many beans, peanut butter, or eggs without a belly ache.  Anything really fatty, like cheese, will do it too.  And guess what, chicken makes me feel kind of bleh!

Are there any foods like that for you???  Foods that are allergens or foods that just do not work?  Think about it.  I know I hadn't until I met with a nutritionist a year ago.  I just kept eating things without thinking about how they were reacting in my body or how they were making me feel. 

Challenge 1 Part 2: Think about exercise and what you actually enjoy.  I hate riding an exercise bike.  Hell on earth to me is riding an exercise bike at a gym while watching paint dry and being hit on by a man with a rat tail.  I like Crossfit, rebounding, running, and hiking- so that is what I do.   Don't force yourself on a treadmill because you "should."  Do things that you LOVE and WANT to do everyday!  Yes, exercise should feel like that!!!  Try a dance class, do strip aerobics, hike with friends, run outside (sometimes that makes all of the difference when it comes to enjoying running), lift weights, martial arts, kettlebells, pure barre, zumba, yoga, African Dance, etc....  Try things that you have never done and really experience them.  Don't be skeeeeerd!!!  What do you have to lose?  One hour of your life and a few hundred calories?  Enlist your friends.  Some friends of mine are die hard runners or yogis or crossfitters.  I asked around, tried their passions, and found an activity that is my current fav!  Find out what other people love and try it.

Exercising and eating right should be a joy, not a suck fest.  Life is too short to spend it doing activities you hate and eating foods that make you feel like a tired, bloated fat ass and cause a psychological beat down when you drop your fork. 

There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to anything (especially spandex) so let's figure out what works for each of us!