Posted by: itsleisa | 10/27/2009


If this is the first time you have visited, be sure to read the About Leisa page to find out about me and what inspired me to start the  blog. It’s still growing and evolving, as is my fitness journey. I hope you find something useful and interesting, and check back often or subscribe, as I add info not only on my personal journey, but how you can use the simple concept of finding 15 new favorite foods to jump-start fat-burning and life-long fitness.

Posted by: itsleisa | 09/13/2011

7 Weeks of Paleo

I tell you what, there is one thing I don’t do, and that is give up. Get stopped, discouraged, sidetracked, distracted and otherwise engaged, yes. But give up no. Need proof? I’m baaaaack here after a year, and still on my quest for 15 new favorite fat-burning foods.

This time I am doing a 7-week Paleo challenge sponsored by Level 4 Crossfit Seattle. On Saturday, we had a good intro to Paleo presentation, and took our ‘before’ pictures. (I will post mine as soon as I can get copies.) Started the challenge on Monday, September 12, 2011, and it goes for 7 weeks.

So far, I am really enjoying the resources and recipes that I have found, and I’m excited to see how it will unfold for me fat-burning-wise, so it inspired me to come back over here and share my journey.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: 6 slices bacon
Lunch: 4 oz beef loin and 1/2 cup each broccoli and cauliflower (thank you Microsoft cafeteria #4)
Snack: Almonds & walnuts with a little raw shredded coconut
Dinner: Mini-meatloaf (containing eggs, onion & spinach) – I made 4, so now I have easy grab & go lunch/dinner. Next time, I will use 2lbs of beef and make 8. They are that good. This is one of My 15 Faves. I will add the recipe shortly.
Cheat: oops, almost forgot this, but if I’m gonna keep track, I might as well be honest – 2 caramel squares. Nothing fancy. Just the old-fashioned kind. My neighborhood grocery has them on the counter at 10 cents a piece. That little ‘treat’ is going to be a tough one to break.

Result? First off, I was never hungry and didn’t feel deprived (although my office-mates french fries did look tempting) I weigh-in every morning, and I am down 2 lbs from yesterday. Wahoo! I don’t begin to imagine that is fat-loss, especially since I did a couple days of carb-loading as a sweet farewell to some of my favorites (pasta, pastry and the like). Even so, it is nice to see a little movement as inspiration to keep going.

I also made a wonderful veggie soup that is perfect for anytime snacking. Has celery, carrots, green beans, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, wonderful seasonings, and my extra special secret ingredient that gives it a unique and tasty kick. Stay tuned, and when I share that recipe, I may even tell what it is.

So, because of my shopping and cooking yesterday, food for today is set and ready to go. Next up is getting the workouts fit into my schedule.

I hope you will subscribe and/or visit back often. I plan to add more recipes and lots more Paleo resources as I find them. Also, I would love to hear your comments.

Don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Lizard Brain. I will leave some links at the bottom if you want to find out more, but the short and sweet version is – it’s a part of your brain built for survival only, and it’s no friend to living your dreams or creating breakthroughs.

So, if I was listening to Lizard Brain (or LB for short, as my dear friend and kick-ass coach and blogger Sandi calls it) I wouldn’t be writing at all. Why? Well, ’cause I started this blog almost 11 months ago.  I got some wonderful response and feedback, and then I just Let. It. Die. Out. Ugh.  Makes me feel silly, stupid, embarrassed and wanting to hide out some more. LB says “just let it go, if you don’t say anything, no one will notice” “probably wasn’t really for you anyway – nice try though” (that’s kinder, gentler LB).

I’m not listening though. Why? Cause I do have something to say and do here. Lots of somethings. So, without further preamble, let it be known – 15FaveFoods is back, rekindled, revived. And yes, I have said that before and fizzled (see, here is where LB really wants to kick in). And, yes, I’m saying so again, with every intention to shine rather than fizzle.

New Fave Food

This great tip was shared with me by Susan of the X Gym Flight Club (that’s an informal group of stair climbing enthusiasts in Seattle).

A main focus of 15FaveFoods is “get ‘yer protein in” – so I am always looking for ways to get up and over 100 grams of protein per day. Here’s Susan’s tip, and I LOVE it!

Coffee Lover’s Protein Latte

  • 8-12 oz coffee
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • dash of cinnamon to taste
  • Whiz it up with a hand mixer (stirring won’t work – lumpy, ugh)

Y u m m y! If you love coffee, and you want more protein, skip the calories and carbs of a regular latte and give this a try. You can even use chocolate protein powder for a mocha flavor. It’s going on my ‘have it everyday’ list.

Watch for these coming updates

  • My fitness countdown to a birthday milestone
  • Stairwell Chronicles – Tales of an unlikely stair-climbing enthusiast

Explore further

Posted by: itsleisa | 06/02/2010

Restart toward the finish

Yes, it’s been a little quiet over here at 15FaveFoods. Probably nobody but me (and perhaps a few wonderful, generous friends and budding fans – thank you) noticed. Regardless  – here I am again. And now, I’m ready to finish it. Not finish the blog, but finish this next portion of the journey I started almost exactly a year ago – the jump-starting my fitness and health journey.

A quick look back

Lots has happened in that last year, and as a way to restart, here’s a review to remind myself of what I’ve learned so far:

  • “Yes, I can lose” – I busted the myth that there must be something wrong with me because in 12 years of wanting to lose weight, I’d only gone in the wrong direction.
  • I can lose weight eating new foods I love – and many times, foods I like way better than what I replaced.
  • Prioritizing exercise consistently (even when I’m ‘really busy’) is not only possible and worth the effort, it makes me happy.
  • I can eat well (meaning to lose or maintain) and not feel ‘deprived’ – even on vacation, at holidays and special occasions, ect.
  • My old, destructive eating habits and thoughts are no match for my commitment and resolve, if I really mean it.
  • Making a 100% commitment – “Ready and willing, no matter what, whatever it takes” –  makes creating permanent change possible in a way that “trying” never will.

So what’s going on now?

Well, to jump-start results of this next phase (and help me discover some more new 15FaveFoods), I am doing a 3-week cleanse offered by Delicious Planet. I will share more details upcoming, but the basics are that they offer prepared healthy, organic, yummy meals, delivered several times weekly. Great, healthy food and convenience? Now that’s an urge you want to say yes to.

With this program, I am getting complete meals for 3 weeks: low-fat, dairy-free, gluten and wheat-free. All designed to give my liver a much-needed break. So far it’s been fantastic. I have loved everything. Very fresh and flavorful, and I have found it to be more than enough food.

Each day includes a breakfast cereal, fruit & veggie snacks, a salad, soup, and dinner entree, plus extra fruit.  They are delivering the kind of meals that I always wish that I could find the time to make for myself. And now, they magically show up at my door 3 times per week. It makes eating healthy so easy. And I am loving that.

I’m loving it because

In the first week, I’ve lost 3 pounds. One of the best parts is knowing that I have healthy meals and snacks right at my finger-tips. It was funny to see how many times my mind wants to grab a piece of candy or chips, but then I think “stop, wait – you have these great cut up veggies and humus right here” Oh ya. It’s making it easy to make good choices. I would have to go out of my way to mess it up. That’s what I call setting yourself up for success.

And…I’m already planning which of these meals will be added to my permanent list of 15FaveFoods when the cleanse plan is done.

Part of finding 15FaveFoods – foods that keep me healthy and fit, and that I love – is lowering the barrier to success by finding things that are convenient. If I had to cook every single thing on my plan from scratch, it would be more likely that at some point my old pitfalls called “it’s too much work” or it’s nasty cousin “it’s not worth the effort” would raise their ugly heads and try to subvert my resolve.

Having an option like ordering healthy, organic meals, pre-made, reasonably priced and delivered right to my door from Delicious Planet (their motto is “They Joy of Not Cooking”) make those two excuses wither up and blow away as glaringly lame. I will report in more as I go. In the meantime – I highly recommend checking out what Randi and her team have to offer.

What about you?

What have you started that it’s now time to start to finish? As a friend said over on Facebook – It’s June, do you know where your goals are? What kinds of things can make eating healthy and staying fit convenient for you?

Posted by: itsleisa | 02/16/2010

A Tiger By Any Other Name…

Just call me Tiger. That’s my fitness name. I like it. I’m proud of it.  And thanks to the Chinese New Year – I’m keeping it.

Let me back up a little. A while ago (mid-December maybe) I took on a ‘fitness name’ that I was very happy with and excited to use to help propel me to my next level of fitness. And that auspicious and proud name was – Tiger.  In the wild a tiger is strong, bold, beautiful, cunning, and more than a little dangerous – not to be messed with, but she knows how to relax. Then there is the whole Rocky and ‘eye of the tiger’ reference, and of course my heretofore favorite sports hero, Tiger Woods. When it comes to performance and achievement, who wouldn’t want to emulate him, right? Arrrrrrrggggghhhh… You are probably miles ahead of me here – nearly immediately after  choosing my new name, current events had me seriously considering dropping it. (And if I need to spell out the reasons for that, you may need to check with your Dr. to be sure your not in a coma.)

Now backing up a little more to explain about a ‘fitness name’ why I have one, and why you might want one too.

Read More…

Posted by: itsleisa | 01/20/2010

When to stop listening to the experts

Photo by jurvetson

Firstly, this is a post more about blogging than about food, fitness and fat-burning – maybe.

I have been noticing in the last few weeks that I have gotten a little off-track with what I want to do with this blog. I’m not talking about the whole vacation, holidays and then getting laid-off my job (oh, ya, in case you didn’t know – experienced, talented technical writer seeking contract or permanent employment – inquire within) distraction.

I am talking more about brooding over what is tone, voice and flavor of the site? What’s my ultimate vision? What do I want to DO here?

Now, since I am a writer by trade, if I have a blog, I want it to be good. No, not even good – I want it to be really good. Exceptionally good. Mind-blowingly good. Ya, I know, no pressure. And, since I am a lover of learning, a natural teacher, and hater of reinventing-the-wheel, whenever I begin an endeavor – especially one at which I want to be exceptionally good  – I look to the experts to learn from the hard knocks of those who have gone before. Here is where I got a little off track. Read More…

Yesterday, I did some existential house-cleaning, and shed the weight of the elephant of the undone by telling the truth about what I didn’t accomplish, and by finally matching my words to my action (or inaction as the case may be).

Today I want to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned by looking at the process of NOT reaching the fat-burning goal that I had set in October for January 5th.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The first and main thing I realized is this: I stopped taking my own (and my coaches) advice in three specific areas. Sweet irony, I had even prescribed each of these three points to myself and others in my mini-ebook ‘Leisa’s Losing Ways’ less than four months ago. (If you’d like a free copy, just leave me a comment with your email address.) Read More…

Posted by: itsleisa | 01/02/2010

Control, Alt, Delete and Reset for 2010

New Year – A popular time of reflection, and (something I have always found a necessary correlate for useful reflection) truth-telling. Also known as coming clean, not fooling yourself (or anyone else), out with the out and in with the new, can’t start with a clean slate until you clean it, and in the nautical world – swabbing the decks . ‘Tis the season, so here goes.

Loyal readers may recall that I made a wonderful, inspiring and challenging goal a few months ago – to lose 15 lbs before my birthday (early January). Read More…

Yo.  Before I give the goods, please accept my apologies for being away so long. No excuses, just life, and best intentions without action get you….well, they don’t get you good blog posts, that’s for sure.

So I decided in order to get the momentum flowing again, I would share a new favorite recipe that has risen to the top of my 15 faves.  It is a “guest post” of sort – written by a favorite blogger of mine, and shared by permission in its entirety.

Here are my variations: I use flax seed oil instead of olive oil (after greens are heated, right before you eat), squeeze on some lime juice, sprinkle with a few flax seeds, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a little kick.

Also, I use a microwave steamer and steam for about 6 mins. This is so easy and good, there is no excuse not to get a good dose of greens everyday. Please let me know how you like it.

How to Make the Yummiest Greens Ever
by Christine Kane

I’ll bet you didn’t know something.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that a bowl of greens has MORE CALCIUM than a glass of milk! Read More…

Posted by: xgym777 | 11/10/2009

What’s the Big Deal About Protein Anyway?

protein foodsPJ here again, blogging for my buddy Leisa while she’s gone. This post is about putting protein in more than one place on your 15 favs list. You don’t have to be a carnivore like me either. You can do it as a vegetarian too (although it is more of a challenge), and even a vegan if you really know how (see for the expert on that – but know that we are apples and oranges on the protein issue, because he is  talking about minimal needs, not metabolism issues. Now I’m just rambling on because I’ve never put this many words inside of parentheses before, and it’s cracking me up because I know it breaks some rules of good writing and it will bug the heck out of Leisa. Multiple sentences inside the same parentheses is also a no-no, so that’s why I’m still going now. How about a comma in the wrong, place? Ha ha Leisa! This ought to learn you to give me full author privileges on your blog while you are out of town!). OK – that was fun, now back on track we go…

X Gym members sometimes wonder if I will ever shut up about the protein issue. I’m telling them constantly to eat it all day, every day, and especially in the morning and after a workout. I tell them to consume at least 100 grams per day, and for some, up to 250 grams.

I believe everyone should eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day, and to most, that seems like a lot. To some, it seems utterly ridiculous and simply unattainable, but it’s really not. It’s a learned habit that gets easier with time.

So why do I obsess over it to such a degree? Why do I eat 300-500 grams of it per day myself? My body can only absorb about 200 grams of that anyway, so aren’t I “wasting” the rest? These are questions I get asked all the time, so here are my answers. Read More…

Posted by: xgym777 | 11/08/2009

Timing Your Calories

salsa clockHello. PJ here, doing a guest post while Leisa is on a boat with no internet access.

I don’t have the “mad skills” she does when it comes to writing, but I do have a very useful message to tell you, so bear with me and open your mind, because what I have to say is usually a first for most people when they hear it.

It’s really not about the number of calories you eat. It’s all about the TYPE of calorie, and the TIMING of that calorie. Read More…

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