Happy 2013!

Wow… what a CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY year! 42 Take offs and Landings… 91,000 air miles logged. From huge airplanes (Boeing A380) to a small 9 seater. China, Hong Kong, U.S., Japan and the Bahamas.

I completed the Dukan diet in May, having lost 111 pounds! And for the most part have kept it off. I bounce up a few pounds, readjust and it comes back off.

I went from not being able to run for 45 seconds to running 5K and completed one. I am now training for a triathlon next August with bloggy friends Cindy, Sandra and Anna and can’t wait!!!

I’ve also done yoga and a program called D.I.R.T. regularly… D.I.R.T. kicks my ass!

Last year I brought New Years in with my dear friend Lucy in Hong Kong…

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

Crazy how much has happened in the past 12 months! Crazy how blessed and fortunate I am to have the people in my life that I do. Crazy how lucky I am to have an amazing job with two crazy women that I adore and love working with!!

December 2012Lorie, Me and Miri

December 2012
Lorie, Me and Miri

The next adventure? Planning a conference for birth workers in Ecuador for July this year and planning my own little trip into Peru to visit Machu Picchu afterwards. It’s going to be an amazing trip!

What are your plans for 2013?

I hope all of you have a blessed, amazing, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Ciao!
Sandi 🙂

 

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Dukan – My Last Walk to Work

Today marks the end of my contract here in Hangzhou, China AND my last day of work. I fly home to the U.S. tomorrow and I am more than ready and SO excited!

I took the east sidewalk today… I would say that 80% of the time I take the west side. It depends a lot on the traffic lights 🙂 The darker tile is the Blind Person walkway, it is on every sidewalk in China that I’ve walked on. And the lane next to the sidewalk is the bicycle, e-bike, scooter lane. They have their own lane separated from the car traffic.

Last year I walked on my first day of work. I was a month into the Dukan Diet and I weighed 236 lbs/107.5 kgs. I was walking every day in Abu Dhabi for the prescribed 30 minutes. On that walk to work which is 1.5 kms/0.92 miles I decided that I was going to walk to and from work EVERY SINGLE DAY for the whole year of my contract. AND DAMMIT… I DID! I walked every single day to work for 12 months. My estimate (taking into consideration vacations and trips to work in other cities, where I also walked to work) is that here in Hangzhou I walked to work approximately 200 times. That’s 200 miles! Woot!

I have to admit that there were days that I was SO tempted to hail a cab or take the bus (it’s a .35 km walk to the bus stop, then it’s just one bus stop up)… there were 7 weeks in February and March where EVERY SINGLE DAY it was 41F and raining and it sucked… but I walked, because you set goals and you reach them and you feel like I do right this minute! 😀

I also walked home 90% of those days. The only days I didn’t was days that I was going into the city for groceries or dinner and caught a cab or bus. So my best guess is that I probably walked to and from work about 380+ miles over the course of this past year.

Did you get in your 30 minutes of movement today???

Ciao!

Dukan – Sunday Celebration and weekly wrap-up!

Consolidation Phase Day 128 of 500!
Weekly Weight: 146-149
Goal Weight: 155
So Consolidation DOES work 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been 128 days since I met my goal weight! This summer has flown by! I am very consistent with my weight, still weighing every morning and still VERY happy with the results!

This past week has been busy! I am moving back to the States on Thursday after living abroad for 4 years. I have been packed for over a month 🙂 I know, a bit OCD, but what to say. I’ve got 2 large suitcases and a large box as checked luggage (things I didn’t want to risk never seeing again if my shipped boxes disappear into the stratosphere or something.) It’ll be worth paying extra for the peace of mind.

Exercise this past week included running 4-5K 3 times. Walking 4-5K the other 4 nights. I also did 30-45 minutes of yoga 4 times the past week. I hiked the mountain 1 time this past week and hope to do it Tuesday morning as one last hurrah 🙂

I met Hanna and Diana and Jacob (next photo) on the street a couple of weeks ago. They are from Sweden and here to attend the University just down the block from my flat. Jacob had on a Miami Dolphins hat, so of course I stopped them 🙂 They’ve been to dinner a few times and I wish I had met them sooner!

Jacob

 

The weather in Hangzhou has been PERFECT this past 4 days. Sunny and a cool breeze. I’ve had the flat windows opened and the whole place is fresh. The summer heat was oppressive! So it’s a nice break.

Let’s see… what did I eat this week. Lots of tea eggs, as per usual. Lunches consisted of leftover roasts (both pork and beef), salad, cheddar cheese and almonds. Dinners were steak stir fry, pork roast, beef roast, shrimp stir fry and my new favorite way to cook veggies; veggies (broccoli, asparagus, carrots and garlic stems) steamed in coconut milk… OH MY you have no idea how good THAT is… a must try! I also had a dinner out with friends at a local sushi restaurant and a hot pot dinner… guests for dinner almost nightly, trying to cook up all the food in the freezer AND say good bye to friends, new and not so new.

Pork roast… Mmm!

Out for sushi with Baby Milva!

hot pot, hangzhou

Out for dinner with Joe, Chiara and baby Nunu!

You throw in the meat and veggies and it cooks in the hot pot… the liquid on the left is spicy, spicy!!! Mmmmmm!

 

 

 

And I did my last water birth lecture in front of a hundred people or so in a nearby town. I hope my message got across to some folks and they have gentler births!

midwife, china water birth

Me and Liang… on our way to my last water birth lecture. She’s the lead midwife supporting water birth at Hangzhou AIMA.

So, that’s my wrap up! How did your week go? Is it cooling down where you live?

Ciao!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 108

Monday was Consolidation Day 108 🙂

Today’s Weight: 146
Goal Weight: 155
Still lovin’ that 🙂

Back to work in Hangzhou. Kind of a frustrating day. Went to the bank to make a deposit and they wouldn’t let me because I didn’t have my passport… to make a deposit… sigh. Then I went to the post office to ship off the last 4 boxes to the States and the guy went through all my stuff to make sure it was packed well enough to not break anything and DROPS the package with my Chinese china!!!! Breathe IN, Breathe OUT… I flew off the handle… I couldn’t help it… I am not perfect, I threw a tantrum. They quickly finished me up, I apologized a million times to my driver, Jerry, who is the most patient person in the world (besides Kitty)… he smoothed things over and got me the hell out of there before, well before I got into trouble!

My granddaughter Sadie represents the 3rd generation of epic tantrum throwers 🙂
My daughter Jenni, however, was the Queen of them!

Then back to work where I managed to upset the apple cart by providing a not so glowing audit about hand washing that had the doctors doing better than the nurses. I was on a roll!

Went home and had me some dinner and felt better 🙂 I also am tutoring a Chinese midwife in Medical English and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. So we worked on that last night.

Sunday I got in a 5K run in under 40 minutes after not running for 9 days due to my bout of food poisoning, but I pushed myself and did it… which makes me feel so good 🙂 I then went up to my flat and did 30 minutes of stretching, yoga and exercise bands. I have SO much energy when I’m done running… it’s amazing!

I also got a few pictures from Rose, my personal assistant in Guangzhou from my multiple stays there this past 5 months. Here’s a couple I want to share:

Water birth training in April 2012. Guangzhou.

Grand Opening of the Water Delivery Center in Guangzhou Elizabeth Women’s Hospital – April 2012

I’ve been saying that I haven’t felt like I accomplished much in the past year. Maybe I set my expectations too high for myself… I’m a perfectionist. But when I look at these pictures I do realize that I’ve accomplished quite a bit. The hospitals keep referring to me as their International Water Birth Expert… and I’ve come to realize, I really am! I mean who better to be called that than someone who has delivered hundreds of babies in the water (all over the world, including on 4 continents!) and has taught water birth all over the world? The 5 hospitals here in China that I’ve done the water birth trainings in have collectively performed over 100 water births in the past year! I am proud of their accomplishments and that the midwives and doctors at these 5 hospitals have accepted water birth as a “normal” way for women to deliver their babies. And delighted for the women and babies who have experienced this amazing way of birthing!

Breakfast: 2 slices of bacon and 2 tea eggs
Snack: FF Greek yogurt with Splenda and flaxseed meal
Lunch: 3 ham slices with 3 slices of Pepper Jack cheddar… Mmmm!!
Dinner: Stir-fry pork with onions and asparagus (cooked in coconut oil).
Snack: Beef jerky… eeek that out a couple little pieces at a time to make it stretch (thanks, Suzanne for bringing me the 3 bags!!) ** Kira… Titters LOVES jerky!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I have 23 days until I fly home… for good… or for now… LOL
What type of exercise or movement did you do on Monday??

Ciao!

 

Running, blog stats and random stuff

I’ve had a pretty exciting week from a personal perspective. I set two personal records running in the past 3 days. The first was my fastest run at 8:26 avg. min/km or 13:34 avg. min/mile. This is a full 1 minute per mile LESS than before I had my surgery in May! The second was that I ran more miles in July than any previous month! Below is my RunKeeper stats…

The brick color is walking, the green is running and the purple is hiking.

I’ve either walked, ran or hiked 544 kilometers since March. That’s 338 miles 🙂 Woot!

Another awesome thing that happened this week is that at some point I reached 50,000 hits on my blog! And I’ve logged nearly 3500 comments! It makes me so happy that so many people have stopped by. I started regularly writing this blog in August to share my journey with family and friends and it has become so much more and that makes my heart swell with happiness!

And that leads to the awesomest things that have happened this week. Actually it happened today… 4 people that I personally know, all of us on 4 different continents, contacted me today (yesterday for some of you) to tell me they are starting the Dukan because they want to be healthier and they’ve seen my success. All 4 have read my blog and I only knew that one of them was. I wish all 4 of you luck!!! I know you will succeed because I know all of you put your mind to something and accomplish it! 4 amazing women… starting on this journey… Good luck and remember that I’m here if you need anything!

I’ll finish by saying that August brings in the last month of summer. It also signals that I have 51 days left in China. I can’t believe I’ve been here nearly a year already! I get one more trip to Guangzhou where I get to hang with my Int’l crew down there, Rose, Jenny, Liza and Dianna. And get to mentor a friend from the Middle East, Aisha! And then back to Hangzhou to finish out my contract… I’m going to miss my ViviMokaLaka so much! She’s the one that brought me here in the first place. I’m going to try to take as many photos as possible in the next 7 weeks.

But I miss home and my kids and my grandkids and my mom and my family and my friends and the beautiful sunrise over the Roosevelt Bridge first thing in the morning. And there’s no place like home. I’ve had a fun 4 years living abroad 🙂 But on to new projects and fixing up my AirStream!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Ciao!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 56

Thursday was a stressful day 😦

Daily Weight: 147 lbs/66.8 kgs
Goal Weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

I sure don’t like stressful days. Makes me want to nosh around on food… thank goodness I only have healthy choices around me, but even too much of a good thing can be a not so good thing!

My stress centers around changes to my work schedule without consulting with me. They just toss me to the wind sometimes and see where I land. I am about the easiest going, “fly by the seat of your pants” kinda gal, but when it seems to be changes made with the wrong intent, it gets my hackles up.

Then after the schedule change stuff, I went on morning rounds and had to stop due to the stress of dealing with people who give misinformation. Formula (baby poison in MY humble opinion) is passed out like candy here. Women being told that they don’t have any milk in their breasts… it does my head in.

So… two things I’m concentrating on to get me out of my funk…
1. My job ends here in 10 weeks and 5 days and I will go home, for good… maybe, at least for now… and…
2.  I won’t be doing birth work full time when I go home. I will be starting my own diet and fitness business. I am very excited about this.
Oh… and a 3rd thing… because they’ve changed my schedule to go to Guangzhou July 12, I will be near Hong Kong and being near Hong Kong means I can go to a movie theatre and watch ROCK OF AGES… now THAT will make me happy and get me out of this funk… I saw it in the States last month and I want to see it again! I’m listening to the soundtrack to ROA as I am typing this post! 

After work I walked to the grocery store to pick up some veggies for the dinner I made for Vivi and Olivia. Vivi is my new personal assistant, having replaced the amazing Kitty, and Olivia is a translator in our office. I wanted to have them over for dinner for helping out with Tits the Cat while I was at home on vacation. Their request… an American dinner. So I made them steak, carrots with splenda and cinnamon and mashed potatoes with aged cheddar… I didn’t eat the carrots or the potatoes… although they both appeared to be big hits, given the fact there was nothing left over! I also made a nice salad with greens, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

Vivi and Olivia

An American dinner for my Chinese friends 🙂

While the carrots and potatoes were boiling, I showed the girls how to use the wii for bowling. Neither had bowled before. They did pretty well for their first game. While I was finishing up supper, they bowled their second game and Vivi scored a 201! She did almost as well on game 3… note to self… stop teaching people how to play, they’ll beat you! LOL

All in all a very nice night. The girls cheered me up. I walked them down to the corner and got Vivi in a taxi home. I then did a walk around the neighborhood.

Food:
Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, coffee
Snack: 10 almonds
Lunch: left over pork from the dinner out with Jerry… when I heated this up in the staff canteen here at work, the chef came over with chop sticks and had a few bites… lol. I’m working REAL hard on the lack of personal space… real hard!
Snack: 1 ounce aged cheddar and 10 almonds
Dinner: Steak w/ onions, salad and a tea cup of wine
Water: 2.5 liters
Exercise:
10 minute morning flow yoga, Walk to work (1 mile) Walk from work to grocery then home (1.9 miles),  walk around neighborhood before bed 1.2 miles)

So… deep breaths, positive outlook, awesome soundtrack, meditation… in and out… 10 weeks, 5 days… ahhhhhh

Ciao!

One last pic… my little baby from Tuesday… his mommy IS exclusively breast feeding… that’s a rare thing here!  🙂

Cute lil thing!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 55

I am really missing my daily blog posts! I still don’t feel like I’ve caught up from my vacation!

Daily weight: 147 lbs/66.8 kgs
Goal weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

Things weight and goal wise are going very well. I have to remind myself often that I am no longer in the Cruise Phase and can add a few things into my diet! Today (Thursday) is a PP day and so far I’ve stuck to that. On the Consolidation Phase (which for me will be 500 days long) you get to add some stuff back in to your diet, you get to have one celebration MEAL (not day) a week and you still have one PP day a week. Dr. Dukan suggests Thursday as that day, and I’m going to stick with that.

On Tuesday morning I got up early and went for a 2 mile run at sunrise. I then came back and did Chaz’s YOGAmazing 10 Minute Morning Flow workout. The combination of the two is a great way to start my day! Chaz has some amazing short yoga workouts that are easy to fit into your day and he also has workouts that focus on specific areas of your body, which I really love!

I then headed to work by walking and within the first hour was told I was being requested for a water birth. All day labor, difficult birth, as the baby was face up instead of face down, but this momma pulled energy from the universe and after nearly 3 hours of pushing had a gorgeous baby boy with a funny looking head… lol (it’s looking much better this morning!)

On Tuesday evening Alice came back for a night stay over. We went out to dinner with her son, Leon. Alice and I had the salmon with horseradish appetizer and we all three ordered mixed grill. The meat was DELICIOUS!

The waitress that took pics for us kept tilting all of our cameras… so none of us have a straight shot, lol!

Alice and I then headed back late to my flat and I was in bed at 1 a.m. (gasp!!! that is SO late for me!). And we were up at 6 a.m. to get a ride to the train station. Alice had a noon flight to Hong Kong.

Wearing Red, White & Blue on the train to Shanghai in honor of America’s birthday!

So off we went to Shanghai on Wednesday morning… the 4th of July. Not only is this America’s Independence Day, but it is also my little sister Nannette’s birthday!

Alice and I were suppose to be on the high speed train to Shanghai, which usually takes about 42 minutes, but we somehow got on the slow one… so between that and the subway ride on Line 2 from one end of Shanghai to the other to get to the airport, it was cutting it close… good Lord I was glad it was Alice traveling and not me, as we all know how bad my travel anxiety and time goes! We, of course, got there with plenty of time and from the pics that Alice posted on her Facebook wall of Hong Kong, she got there in one piece!

Bye Alice!!! It was fun hanging out!

I then got back on the subway and found my way to the grocery store that I shop at in Shanghai and found a restaurant that I hadn’t eaten in before. Sat down at a table with a lovely gentleman named Stern from New Jersey, in China teaching for a year, and had a wonderful conversation over lunch… we’re Facebook friends now 🙂  and then I got a little shopping done… mostly a backpack and sack full of groceries to sustain me through the week. I then took the subway back to the train station for the ride back to Hangzhou. I called Jerry, my driver (I love saying that… he’s a very cool dude!) and asked if he could pick me up… he said yes and told me to keep an eye out for the special way he was going to display my name at the train station…

You see MY driver uses an iPad instead of cheesy paper! 😀 Thank you, Jerry, for making me feel so special and important and for being environmentally friendly!

He then informed me that he was taking me to dinner to thank me for all the referrals that I gave him. He was taking me to the “best Chinese restaurant in town” and inquired about what foods I could and could not eat… the man pays attention! Too bad he’s married with a kid, lol! Just joking, his wife is one lucky lady!

So, he takes me to Nongtangli Restaurant near West Lake and he was not kidding… it was the best Chinese food I’ve had since I’ve been here! I decided right then and there that Wednesday, July 4th, was going to be my Celebration Meal of the week. Not that I ventured too far… I don’t do wheat, rice or potatoes… here’s what we had…

Spicy Black fungi and to die for pork… nommy, nommy pork, melt in your mouth, fall off the bone, better than sex pork 😀

And pumpkin with a creamed coconut sauce… now this was yummy!

And I had juice, which is something I haven’t had since August! It was fresh juiced green apple and grapefruit… cool and refreshing on this hot summer’s eve!

Awesome dinner, awesome dinner companion. Jerry then took me back to my flat and didn’t charge me for the pick up… such a great guy!

So my 4th of July food was:
Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, coffee at train station
Lunch: Salad greens and a poached salmon steak
Snack on the train: about 2 ounces of aged cheddar that was crumbly and sharp!
Dinner: See above… Yum!!
Snack before bed: FF Greek Yogurt with Splenda and flax seed
Water: About 3 liters
Exercise: 1 mile walk after dinner and 20 minutes of meditation

So how was everyone else’s 4th of July??

Ciao!