Archive for January, 2011

Meatless Monday

January 18, 2011

A personal tradition I’ve instituted in Meatless Monday, at least as far as cooking dinner goes! Tonight I made a recipe adapted from the book YOU: The Owners Manual

Portuguese Bean Soup, adapted

Begin with onions in a little bit of oil.

Add chicken broth, sweet potatoes, chili-garlic paste.

Add diced tomatoes. cannelini beans, collard greens.

Serve with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

My version, I made 4 servings, each with 190 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 12 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber. The vinegar really helped to make the soup better. There is something bout canned tomatoes and sweet potatoes together that I am not 100% sure that I liked. This soup might be better with regular potatoes. But still it was pretty tasty, I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Let’s lose weight with the stars!

January 16, 2011

The stars in the sky, not the movie stars!

I’ve had a couple of good days. Sticking to the plan although I weighed in a little higher this morning than I would like, but tomorrow will be my official weigh in. I track all of my stats including weight, exercise, food and more over on under the username of Querian. I have only really been tracking my weight lately but after listening to some podcasts from Fat 2 Fit Radio I am going to add in some other measurements including basic body measurements and perhaps more importantly my body fat percentage. I have scale that measures this so even though it might not be 100% accurate I will start tracking that stat also because in the long run it will help tell me if I am losing body fat.

Today the moon is in Gemini, I discussed that in my last blog. So we need to look at tomorrow’s moon in Cancer. The moon in Cancer is one that craves comfort food, so make sure you are eating familiar and comforting things under this moon! It is a time to watch out for emotional eating, so be aware of your feelings and how they are impacting your food choices. This is a good time to make a big batch of one of your favorite foods and stock some away in the freezer; Cancer loves to save something special for another day. I plan to make a big batch of Onion Marmalade under the Cancer moon which may not sound good to everyone but I happen to love onions and this onion marmalade will keep well in the frig for several weeks and I will be able to use it in a lot of different ways. I love onions!

We are building up to the full moon in Cancer on the 19th. There is a tendency to go to extremes under the full moon and this one is in aspect to Jupiter so be careful not to overeat! Almost immediately after the moon is full it makes a trine to Jupiter and then goes void for a brief time before entering Leo. Leo moon likes rich foods. Leo wants every day to be a special occasion. Leo does like to be active though so put some energy into getting outside. Leo likes to look good, I’m not saying Leo is vain, but putting some attention on toning some trouble spots with the moon in Leo might not be a bad idea. Leo’s symbol, the lion, can be a rather lazy creature, so get out there and do something active which allows you to embrace the vitality of feeling healthy.

On Friday 1/21 the moon enters Virgo so we can all be more finicky and selective about our food, eating a bit healthier and going through our regular fitness routines in order to feel safe and dutiful, like a good Virgo.

As for the other planets: Mars is now in Aquarius and so this might be a good time to add something unusual or different to your fitness routine. We all get stuck in our training and it is good for the body to shake things up. Aquarius in particular, being a fixed sign, can get set it it’s ways. Adding a new element into your activities would be a good idea at this time. The sun moves into Aquarius on Thursday, 1/20, so even though we may be sick and tired of winter we need to think ahead to spring’s arrival in a couple of months and set our determination to get and stay fit. And wonder of wonders, Jupiter re-enters Aries on Saturday 1/22 so hold onto your hats! We are all about to get a big kick in the behind, and our energy levels should go through the roof. That should be great for helping us get more active, especially for people with strong Aries or Jupiter signatures in their charts.

Personally having vital planets moving into Aquarius is helpful to me as my sun and Venus are both in that sign. Jupiter into Aries is also incredibly helpful, not only for my Aquarius planets but also for my moon in Leo. I hope to work on becoming more active as my sprained ankle and torn tendon heal. I am planning that Friday is the last day for me wearing the walking boot, then I will slowly work back into a walking routine and a gym routine. I would like to go full throttle right away but I need to make sure my ankle is in a good way. I also need to go to physical therapy in the next couple of weeks. Neptune is exactly conjunct my sun today and I will be waving a fond farewell to him until he leaves Aquarius completely in the beginning of April. The new thing I am adding into my routine to help with my goals is my sweetheart and I are signing up for a road race on May 15. It is 12k, which is almost 7.5 miles. I am hoping by then to be fully recovered with my ankle. I am planning to walk the race and I think this will be very fun! I’ve never done a race like this before and this one is a very unusual race, think San Francisco at it’s craziest! It’s called Bay to Breakers and I am signing up with the local SparkPeople Spark Team.

Overall this looks like a good week for being active and eating right. Watch the emotional eating under the Cancer moon, and watch the “oh, I deserve a treat” that sometimes comes with the Leo moon. Once the moon is in Virgo we are home free.

Can Astrology Help with Weight Loss?

January 14, 2011

Can Astrology Help with Weight Loss?

Are we victims of the stars? Or can we observe the sky, see what is happening “Above”, and use the energy in our daily lives in order to reach our goals here “Below”? Of course, in theory, I believe the tenet: “As Above, So Below”. I also believe that someone who is aware and deliberate in the application of these energies can harness the energy that is available to us all and use it to create lasting change. Yet even awareness and deliberation isn’t always enough when it comes to weight loss! So I am going to revitalize my astrology blog and transform it into an investigation into whether or not we can use astrology to lose weight.

Some background about me, I have counted calories and exercised regularly since about the age of 23. I have always been able to lose weight or maintain a good weight by eating around 1600-1800 calories, until the last year or so. I had been comfortably maintaining a weight of about 150-155 for several years when I suddenly gained about 30 pounds in less than a year. I had not changed any of my techniques. I was still eating 1600-1800 calories and exercising regularly. Still I kept gaining weight. I tried lowering my calorie allowance and changing my exercise routine. It did not help. I was eating 1500-1600 calories and gaining weight. I was walking about 7 hours a week plus was doing strength training and some cardio videos, too. I was frustrated but did not know exactly why this was happening.

Astrologically, at that time, Jupiter was transiting through my sun and Venus sign of Aquarius. After stationing almost to my sun he turned retrograde and went back to near the degree of my Venus, and was basically quincunx my Ascendant for many weeks during his station turning direct. He then crossed my sun at 27 Aquarius. My Ascendant ruler, Mercury, is at 11 Pisces so he quickly conjoined Mercury as well. That was followed by Jupiter’s opposition of my Ascendant at almost 19 Virgo. I gained weight throughout this entire set of transits, beginning summer 2009 until about April or May 2010. Once Jupiter entered my 7th house I stopped gaining weight but have been unable to lose any real weight, either, maybe a couple of pounds here and there. He still opposes my 1st house.

I never expected this Jupiter-related weight gain to occur due to another transit. During the same time frame I have also had Saturn in my 1st house, which is actually known as a “weight-loss transit”. Bah! Saturn has not helped me lose any weight during his visit to my 1st house! I love Saturn but he has not helped me here like I had expected!

I have had a lot of changes during 2010. I got engaged, I moved from Michigan to California, I changed jobs, just to name a few things that have changed in the past year! I was getting into a new routine here in California when, back in the end of August, I fell down a flight of stairs and severely sprained my ankle. Let me just say that when trying to lose weight it is incredibly difficult if you cannot exercise! I spent a month on crutches. Beginning in October I returned to an exercise and nutrition routine I thought would help, eating an average of around 1600 calories and riding the exercise bike, swimming, walking as I could, and strength training. I lost maybe a pound in a month, basically nothing more than normal fluctuation. I decided to cut my calories drastically and increase my exercise as much as I could bear with my still healing ankle. I cut down to 1200 calories. In the next two months I managed to lose maybe 2 more pounds, although I did cheat on my diet a bit around the holidays, though not too badly!

My ankle was still killing me. It was swollen constantly and it wasn’t seeming to get any better. It had been about 4 months and my ankle was making it incredibly difficult for me to get all the activity I desired. Plus, I was hungry all the time eating so few calories. Can we say ornery? I finally went to see a specialist about my ankle. It just happened to be at the time of the last solar eclipse and the day the sun moved into Capricorn. The podiatrist informed me that when I sprained my ankle I had also torn a tendon, the tendon that holds up the arch of my foot, and that I needed to wear the dreaded “walking boot” for another month! Arrgh! How was I suppose to ever lose this extra weight while wearing a cast on my foot?

All of my motivation went out of me. I could not bear to eat 1200 calories a day anymore. I was so hungry, constantly, and still not losing any weight. I decided that I would work on increasing my metabolism so I could eat more calories and lose weight. That is where the story is right now. Still in my walking boot, I have been eating 1464 calories per day and doing strength training for my upper body and my core, but no cardio this month. I have tried to ride the exercise bike but it is very uncomfortable and makes my ankle hurts after about 10 minutes. The podiatrist advised that since I had aggravated the injury so badly by pushing myself to my limits that I should adopt a new rule of “if it hurts don’t do it”, at least until I could get my ankle and torn tendon healed.

I chose 1464 calories based on a calorie calculator I found online. It said that a 37 year old woman at 183 pounds could lose weight by eating 1464 calories per day while getting no physical activity. I weighed as low as 181.7 since I started this about a week and a half ago, 182.3 this morning. When I started my program in October 2010 to aggressively lose weight I weighed 185. No matter how aggressive I have been about this is has not been working. As I get back into exercising more regularly, once this boot comes off, I will adjust my calories as I see fit. But there is no way I am reducing my intake to 1200 calories a day again. I am going to figure out a better way to reach my goals!

So can astrology help? And if so, how?

I think we must look at a few different factors, at least two. The first is sky transits and the second is personal transits.

Basically the new format of my blog here will be as follows:

1) A summary or how I have done, based on goals set and transits previously discussed.

2) Upcoming sky transit to be aware of in pursuit of further weight loss.

3) Upcoming personal transits.

4) Summary of current plan and goals, based on an awareness of planetary cycles.

Currently we have lots of planets in earth signs, good for setting practical goals. Mars is leaving Capricorn and entering Aquarius. Mars in Aquarius is often quite happy putting energy into mental pursuits so it will be important to make sure to get as much actual physical activity as possible. Venus in a fire sign, Sagittarius, is more adventurous here than in some of her lazier placements. Mercury and the sun are both in Capricorn which is lovely and practical and down to earth. The planets from the sun through Mars are well placed right now for physical actiivity and for restricting the diet with the emphasis on Capricorn.

The moon is probably more important in weight loss than one might believe. Our daily moods impact our health and our dedication to fitness and nutrition, and our moods are often directly related to the lunar sign and phase. Currently the waxing moon is in Taurus, and here we must realize that we are likely to overeat and to avoid exercise with this moon. So make sure to take time to exercise and plan your meals ahead of time! Tomorrow the moon goes into Gemini, better for getting out and about. Gemini is great for a long, rambling walk (I wish I could go for one!), preferably in a busy place like through the streets of an interesting and bustling city. Gemini moon enjoys talking more than eating so dinner out with friends would be lovely and talkative and relatively easy to eat healthy. My goal is to write my next blog by the time the moon in in Cancer early next week.

Personally I have Pluto squaring my progressed sun, a positive progression for transforming my physical body. Neptune is literally 3 minutes away from the third pass of my sun … I cannot help but wonder how much this Neptune transit of my sun had impacted my weight, I believe it has been an important factor, but as with everything Neptune it is almost impossible to tell what is going on around that planet. Uranus, oh how I look forward to Uranus and Jupiter both re-entering Aries! Saturn is treating me nicely at the end of my first house, trine my Venus and my Midheaven. Saturn is well placed for me in terms of disciplining my cravings (Venus) right now.

Right now I am sticking to 1464 calorie average per week. Strength training for my upper body and core. Ankle exercises and stretches. I am going out for dinner tonight but the restaurant is organic, sustainable, healthy food, so even with the moon in Taurus I should be able to enjoy and not overeat. The restaurant is called Venus, perfect for a Friday, day of Venus, under a Taurus moon, sign of Venus. Try to be active, as the walking boot permits, over the weekend. That’s the plan. I’ll try to update my blog on Sunday night, before the moon enters Cancer on Monday, with hopefully a much shorter post!