Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Get Too Skinny

     When people say to me, "Don't get too skinny!" I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond.  I don't think they're really worried about my health,  (Or is it a compliment?) but I wish I could tell them:
     I'm not trying to get skinny.  I'm not restricting or even keeping track of calories.  I'm trying to be as healthy as I can.  I'm learning that if you nourish your body and exercise, it will find the weight that it is supposed to be. 
     I eat fruits and veggies and whole grains because I know that's what my body needs.  I exercise because I enjoy it.  I love Zumba!  I love that I can run 2 or 3 miles now easily.  I love having defined biceps for the first time in my life.  I love not feeling like I need a nap all the time.  I have never felt this good in my life.
     I wanted (and needed) to lose weight at first.  I had a weight goal.  I set it at 135 pounds because I thought it was realistic and it was in the healthy range for my height (110 - 148 lbs).  I'm at 127 now - and still in that healthy range.  My new goal is 125.  I don't know if that's my ideal weight. I just thought it would be nice to weigh what my first driver's license said I weighed at 16. (I doubt I weighed 125 even then.  Maybe 128.)
     If I reach it - great.  If I don't, that's fine too because I feel great.
That's what I wish I could tell them, but I don't think that's what they want to hear.  Instead I just smile and change the subject.  
     So the next time someone says to me: "Hi Twiggy."  I'll take that as a compliment (backhanded as it may be).  At least it's not Fatty McPhatterson right?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Get Healthy with Small Changes

Thanksgiving weekend was not kind to me.  I think it was the coconut cream pie that did me in. Or maybe it was the pan of Peanut Butter Fingers that I made because my son begged.  I have the best recipe for Peanut Butter Fingers that I’ve ever seen out there. Courtesy of an ex-lunch lady.  I’ll do you a favor and not share it.  (Unless you want me to, but you’ll be sorry.)  That was probably the reason I gained 2 ½ pounds that week. 
One thing I’ve learned about sugar is that I can be doing so great, not craving sweets at all, then go overboard one day and bam! I want more and more.  Before I know it I’ve eaten half a pan of something. And it takes me a few days to get back to craving healthy foods again.  But I think I’m there. 
I’ve talked about small changes that make a big difference.  Since you need to do more than talk about changes, let's decide to actually do something!  Set a goal to make a change in the way you eat.  And then DO IT!
Here are some things I'm doing to get back on track.

  Small changes that make a big difference:

Soup Day.  Make soup once a week and make sure it’s one with lots of veggies.  I like soup because I can make enough for leftovers.  Plan your soup day for the day after a roast or chicken.  Just sauté some onions and chopped veggies, add broth, maybe some pasta and the leftover meat.  A little bit of meat goes a long way and makes a good soup. On soup days all I do is thaw some frozen rolls in the afternoon.  I love easy!

Add a smoothie.  There are all kinds of smoothie recipes on line.  Start with something safe that you know you’ll like and then experiment.  Smoothies are the best way to sneak some spinach in.  My favorite Green Smoothie is on my Healthy Recipes page.

Try one new salad each week.  If you make this goal, plan ahead! You’re not going to do it if all you have is lettuce in the fridge.  You can add fruit, beans, chicken, salsa, peas, seeds, berries, etc. to your salad. Maybe not all at the same time.  Then you’ll need a few different dressings.  Try something new.  There’s only so much you can do with Ranch Dressing.   Need some ideas?  Trainer Momma is the queen of salads. I think last time I looked she had 28 salads on her recipe page. You need to go there.

So there are a few ideas.  Anything you’d like to add?  I’m always open to suggestions and ideas.  What works for you?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bread Facts ~ Which Bread is Best?

Which Bread is best?
Before 1900 most people made their own bread with freshly ground whole wheat flour.  In the late 1800’s, food processors found that if they sifted away the bran and the germ from the flour, they’d get flour that wouldn’t spoil.  That's great right?


In 1910 white flour became available to everyone. White flour is made only from the endosperm of the wheat kernal.  The bran and the germ, which contain the vitamins, are removed and discarded.  Immediately, people starting developing vitamin B deficiencies and other health problems.  Around the 1920’s they figured out the cause of their problems, but instead of adding the bran and germ back in, they decided to “enrich” the flour by adding only iron, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and later folic acid back in.  What about the other 30+ nutrients which were lost?  How do we get them back?  We eat 100% whole wheat bread.

Here are some helpful definitions:

Whole Wheat Flour - flour made by grinding the entire wheat berry including the bran. It is more nutritious than white flour. 
Enriched White Flour- flour made from the endosperm of the wheat berry. It has a longer shelf life than whole wheat flour because it does not contain the oils found in the wheat germ.
Bleached Flour – enriched flour which contains bleaching agents.  The white color is achieved as the chemical bleaching agent oxidizes the surface of the flour grains. Most people can’t taste the chemicals in bleached flour. Bleaching changes the texture and stiffens soft flour.  This explains why my cookies spread too much when I use whole wheat flour.  It’s commonly used in prepackaged cookies, bagels pancake mixes, pie crusts, and waffles. 
Unbleached Flour –Enriched white flour that hasn't been chemically bleached. As flour ages, it softens.  Unbleached flour bleaches naturally as it ages. Unbleached flour contains more protein than the bleached flour.  It is used most often in yeast bread.

Have you made the switch from white bread to 100% whole wheat?  
When looking for whole wheat bread make sure it lists "whole wheat flour" as the first ingredient.  If it says “wheat flour” or “enriched” or any other flour, it’s not 100% whole wheat.
My family likes Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat bread.  It is the only brand I’ve found that doesn’t contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.   And it’s soft and it doesn’t taste like cardboard- always a plus. 
Or if you're feeling domestic, make your own.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mediterranean Quinoa



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Quinoa dry
  • 1 14.5 oz can Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Or Oil From The Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 whole Thin Chicken Breasts, Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
  • OR 1 can Garbanzo Beans instead of chicken, drained.
  • 2 pinches Dried Oregano
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 small jars Artichoke Hearts (or 1 can) drained
  • ½ cup Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 5 fresh mushrooms chopped.
  • 1 small Lemon, Zest And Juice, Divided Use
  • ¼ cup dry parsley

Prepare 1 cup Quinoa using 2 cups chicken broth (I use 1 can plus enough water to equal 2 cups liquid.)  Prepare it like you would rice. It only simmers for about 12 minutes until liquid is absorbed. So, while that’s simmering:
In a large saute pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil or use the sun dried tomato oil. Add cubed chicken and sprinkle with oregano. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally.
*OR heat 1 can garbanzo beans with the oregano (instead of chicken). Only takes a couple minutes.
Push chicken (or garbanzos) to the side of the pan to make room for the onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic. Push the onion mixture to the side to make more room and add the artichoke hearts. Mix it all together and lower heat.
To this mixture add the sun dried tomatoes (save the rest of the jar for next time), mushrooms and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Finally, add the cooked quinoa to the mixture and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients and flavors.

And just because- I was comparing these two pictures today. My son says I look the same.  Yet I still allow him to live here.

November 2010
June 2009

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Start Small to see Big Changes

You might look at what I’m eating right now and think that it’s pretty weird stuff.
I admit my tastes have changed.  But you don’t have to eat quinoa or black bean burgers or go vegetarian to see some big changes in your weight and especially changes in how you feel.
(Speaking of quinoa: I made quinoa for the first time a couple weeks ago and loved it.  Recipe coming soon.)
You don’t have to totally overhaul your (or your family’s) way of eating right away.  Start small.
Are you eating at least 5 different fruits and vegetables every day? 
Here's how I gradually changed how we eat:
I still made the meals my kids  liked, but I tripled the amount of fruits and vegetables at each meal.  My kids still got their chicken pasta alfredo, but they got a lot more veggies to choose from.  My plate would have a small amount of pasta, but at least half of it was LOADED with veggies.  I’d chop up a bunch of cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, whatever I could find and steam them. 
It’s a lot easier to eat a cup each of 3 different veggies than 3 cups of the same vegetable.  This is also a good plan for dinner because my picky eaters can always find at least one vegetable that they like in the mix and they’ll eat at least that one.  You could also add a bowl of cut fruit or just add half an apple to their plates.

Here's what I ate in a typical day when I thought I was eating healthy.  And then in Blue, a change I'd make now to make it healthier.
Breakfast-Before:  2 shredded wheat biscuits, toast, juice  CHANGE: replace 1 shredded wheat w/ a banana. Make sure your juice is 100% juice.
Lunch- Before:  BLT  and 1/3 cup broccoli  CHANGE: Replace BLT w/Meltshroom sandwich (see healthy recipes page) and eat 2 cups steamed mixed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  Add a bunch of red grapes
Snack- Before: coke, 1 bag lite microwave popcorn and a few M&M’s.  CHANGEreplace w/ some air popped popcorn and add a bowl of fresh berries topped w/ 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt and sprinkled w/ grapenuts. No coke!
Dinner- Before:  1 ½ cups Taco Casserole w/ sour cream ½ cup corn, milk  CHANGE:  only do ½ cup taco casserole skip the sour cream, add 1/2 cup Cowboy Caviar, 1 Green Smoothie (has 1 cup fruit, 1 cup packed spinach- see Healthy Recipes page for recipe.
I figure I added about 8 more servings of fruits and vegetables to my day but still made basically the same meals for my family. 
So, what do you think?  Is it realistic?  Would it work for your family?  I know if you try it, you'll feel better and see the scale start going down.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Solid Stomach Flu


I am 1 solid stomach flu away from my goal weight. 
I heard someone say that once, and I  had to laugh.  Actually she said she was 13 or 14 solid stomach flus away from her goal weight.  But in my case, it’s one.
I’ve been 1 solid stomach flu away from my goal weight for about a month and a half.  It seems like the closer I get, the harder it is to lose each pound.  I’m guessing that’s because my body is approaching (or maybe it’s already there) the weight it’s supposed to be.  In the beginning it seemed like those pounds were just flying off.  Now, not so much.   It’s a little frustrating because I want to reach that magic number- just because.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Favorite Dinners that are actually Good For You!


If I could eat anything for dinner, this is what I would eat.  These aren't just healthy meals.  These are my favorite meals that also happen to be healthy.  You definitely need to click into the links to see the pictures to get the full effect.  So yummy!
Day 1: 
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan & Best Ever New Potatoes and Fresh Green Beans .  The sauce on the fish is not low fat or low calorie so I just about half as much on my own piece and it's about perfect.
Day 2: 
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes.  I throw in some semi sweet chocolate chips and then top them with Vanilla Yogurt and Blackberries if I have them.  Poppy Seed Fruit Salad. I pass on the watermelon and add Kiwi instead, or apples. Just use your favorite fruits.  It's the dressing that makes it delicious.
Day 3:
Sweet Potato Enchiladas & steamed brussel sprouts and yellow squash.
Day 4:  
Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayo.  Or skip the mayo and dress it like you would a regular burger.  Steamed Fresh Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots mixed.
Day 5:
Cashew Pasta Bake and Spinach Strawberry Salad
I thought it was weird to have nuts with pasta, but this is really good. I double the recipe so I can have it for lunch the next 2 days.
Day 6:
Minestrone Soup and Best Whole Wheat Bread.  I'll add 1/2 cup of alphabet pasta to this soup just because my kids like finding the letters.
Day 7:
Zupas Nuts About Berries Salad.  But please get your dressing on the side.  They give way too much dressing. I use about 1/3 of it.



Friday, October 29, 2010

Why you should be eating pumpkin seeds


Eating seeds and nuts is one of the best ways to get the healthy fat that our bodies need.
If you’re trying to lose weight you should limit your intake of seeds and nuts. However, you shouldn’t avoid them entirely. They are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and fiber. Since it’s almost Halloween, let’s talk about pumpkin seeds.
Besides being a great and tasty snack, pumpkin seeds have other benefits:
Lower Cholesterol Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
Cancer Prevention Phytosterols that lower cholesterol can also protect against many cancers.
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Pumpkin seeds effectively reduce inflammation without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Great Source of Magnesium, Protein and Zinc 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds contains 34 % of your daily value of protein and zinc, and 92% of your daily value of magnesium, a mineral in which most Americans are deficient.
Prostate Protection They’re good for a healthy prostate and alleviate the difficult urination associated with an enlarged prostate.
Prevention of Kidney Stones Have you ever had a kidney stone? Pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Help with Depression Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, a compound naturally effective against depression.

The best way to eat pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) is raw. You can buy them hulled and prepackaged, or you can roast them yourself. Here's a link to my favorite recipe for pumpkin seeds.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Which lettuce is healthiest?

Go with Romaine! The greener the better! It’s loaded with more Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium and other vitamins than iceberg, green or red leaf lettuces.
Iceberg is the most popular lettuce in the United States, most likely because it ships well and it has a crispness that other types don’t. If you look at the USDA chart below you can see the comparison.
The most nutritious is Romaine, followed by Green Leaf, then Red Leaf, then Butterhead with Iceberg coming in last place.
At my house, we eat Romaine, but we don’t like its giant veins, so I throw those out. If you’re an Iceberg fan, try mixing in some other types. That way you still get the crunch, but you won’t miss out on the nutrients. After all, that’s why you’re having a salad right?!


This chart only rates 5 types of lettuce, but don’t forget arugula, radicchio or endive. You can try those out in the prepackaged lettuce section.
Personally, when I make a salad it always has spinach in it. Spinach beats any type of lettuce for nutrient density, but that’s a post for another day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eat The Rainbow

Do you want to do the 5 A Day Challenge with me?  You've heard that you should eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, right?  Well this challenge is even better for you- to eat one fruit or veggie of each color daily.  The National Cancer Institute and the Utah Department of Health have this handy flier.  They've divided the fruits and veggies  into 5 color groups.  Each group contains different phytonutrients which of course have different health benefits.
For example:
The Red Group (think tomatoes and strawberries) contains phytonutrients like lycopene and anthocyanins.  Lycopene reduces breast and skin cancer risks, while anthocyanins reduce your risk of heart attack and Alzheimer's Disease.
The Green Group (broccoli, kiwi & spinach) supplies you with lutein for good vision and cancer fighting indoles.  Carrots and oranges contain beta-carotene and bioflavenoids, both powerful anti-oxidants.  Then there's the Blue/Purple group that can slow the effects of aging and reduce memory loss.  The White Group will boost your immunity and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure because Onions and Garlic contain Allicin. You can click here to download your own nifty copy.  I have one hanging inside my pantry door.  My kids are learning this all with me.
Click here for a pdf of the Colorful Choices Log to help you (or your kids) keep track of your food color choices each day. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Know What You're Eating


image courtesy of atasteofheaventreats.com
Remember when I said I had no more willpower than anyone else?  Here’s your proof!   For my birthday last year, my coworkers and I celebrated with one of my favorite things: cheesecake.  I had a piece at the office and they sent me home with the rest.  I ate another after dinner that night.
Here is my blog entry for that day:
Today I followed Jacque's example and decided I'd find out how many fat grams were in the 2, yes TWO, pieces of cheesecake I ate today. 32 grams per slice. That's 64 total fat grams folks! And 1020 calories I might add. Luckily, it was still light outside when I realized what a pig I am. So I went for a little run. I ran 3/4 of a mile and walked 3/4 of a mile. I feel a little better now, But I'd feel a whole lot better if I'd looked at those fat grams before I'd made the decision to eat that second piece.
If I would have known how many fat grams and calories were in the cheesecake, there is NO WAY I would have eaten 2 pieces.   It wouldn’t even have been a temptation. The moral of this story is:  Know what you’re eating!  With a little bit of knowledge you don’t need willpower.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reward Yourself

My 4 sisters and I used to post to a private blog, similar to this one. We would track our weight and what we ate and used it to help and encourage each other.  This entry is from September 2008.
I'm having a thought.... I think we should do something to celebrate milestones. For example if we move from the 150's to the 140's, that would be a milestone. Though I don't know how to celebrate without food. What do you all think about that?
Oh, but the milestones should only be counted on a Monday. Otherwise we'd be celebrating them every other day since my weight usually goes up and down and up. Also, thanks for your comments. It's always encouraging to see that someone is watching what I'm eating and is cheering me on. :)
Looking at your food journals I've discovered that I'm a HUGE eater. You all eat half of the amount of food I do. So my question is, Are you charting everything you eat? (Not that you have to. There are no rules on this blog--except that you can't let anyone else read it.) I was just curious.  

The reason I wanted to post this here is that the Milestone idea really worked for me.  I decided to reward myself for each 5 lbs that I lost.  New work out clothes, a pair of jeans (in a smaller size), and a new play list for my Zune were all things I used as motivation.  Anyone else have any ideas that work for you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

What is Good Real Food?

It seems like we are so concerned with fat grams or carbs or calories that we don't even think of nutrition. OK, so it's low fat and low calorie. Does that mean it's good for you? Not necessarily. What makes a food healthy is the amount of nutrients it delivers to your body.
It's a way of thinking that will take some getting used to.
There are 2 kinds of nutrients: Macro-nutrients and Micro-nutrients and our bodies need them both.
Macro-nutrients are fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Macro-nutrients are necessary, but we should limit how much of them we eat.
Micro-nutrients are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. (Phytochemicals are plant based chemicals that have disease preventative properties, like lycopene or beta-carotene.)
For a healthy body, the goal is to increase your micro-nutrients without going overboard on calories. So you need to choose the most nutrient dense foods and limit your macro-nutrients. How do you do that? You eat vegetables and fruits! They are naturally low in calories and saturated fat and contain all kinds of good for you phytochemicals that scientists are still discovering and haven't even named yet.
If you're going to eat for maximum health, you should be eating:
* Lots of high-nutrient, healthy foods like green vegetables, berries and seeds.
* Few, if any, animal products.
* Avoid things like HFCS, sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners and processed foods in general.
The more I learned about nutrition, the less I focused on losing weight. I became more interested in being healthy and the weight loss just came naturally.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this way of eating "Nutritarian". To learn more about it and to find out which vegetables are the most nutrient dense, read his book titled "Eat For Health".

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When I'm hungry I eat - Meltshroom Sandwich

I eat a lot of food. When I'm hungry I eat. This is my favorite lunch when tomatoes are in season. The sandwich is only 200 calories and 7.3 grams of fat- because of the cheese.
I've tried the starvation way of dieting and it's not for me. I get too grumpy when I can't eat.

Meltshroom Sandwich
2 medium mushrooms sliced
2 thin slices onion
2 TB shredded mozzarella cheese
1 medium tomato sliced
1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
2 slices 9 grain or whole wheat bread
1 TB lite Miracle Whip

Toast bread and spread with lite Miracle Whip. Layer the mushrooms, onion and cheese on both slices bread. Broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with sliced tomato and sprouts. (I season it with Mrs. Dash).
Makes one open face sandwich.
My bread only has 50 calories and 1/2 a gram of fat per slice. So even with the grapes and strawberries, it's under 300 calories.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Food Journal 9/29/10

Breakfast:
Steel Cut Oats mixed with 1 apple chopped, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup raisins & cinnamon. 1/3 cup cranberry juice. DoTerra Wellness Supplements (400 calories 3.6 fat grams)
Lunch:
Bajio lime chicken enchilada, 1 cup sweet rice, 1/4 cup black beans, water (576 calories 8.8 fat grams)
Snack: 2 homemade granola bars * (210 calories, 8.8 fat grams)
Dinner:
1 cup pasta alfredo made with skim milk , 3/4 cup steamed squash, broccoli & carrots, 1 small tomato, 2/3 cup (packed) raw spinach, 4 strawberries, 1/2 TB Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette (368 calories 8.4 fat grams)
Snack #2: 2 more granola bars, a small banana (300 calories, 9.1 fat grams)
Grand Total: 1854 calories 38.6 fat grams
2.5 mile run, 10 minutes of upper body weights
Today wasn't one of my good days. I went a little overboard with the granola bars and Bajio. I usually try to eat more fruits and veggies than I did today. I used Prevention.com's health tracker to calculate everything. If my totals don't match up, just know that the Grand Total is correct. I'll do better tomorrow!
* Follow the link to "A Life Less Sweet" for the recipe for the homemade granola bars.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

21 Year Reunion

You know what's a real bummer? I lost the weight AFTER my 20 year high school reunion. Can we have a 21 Year Reunion? Cause now I'm ready.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beans are your friend


I was watching a web broadcast by Dr. Fuhrman yesterday. He's the one who wrote the book Eat to Live that really inspired me to change what I eat. I was thinking that the reason that more people don't eat like he does is because eating the nutritarian way is just too big of a change to make all at once like he suggests. The way he eats really makes sense, but eating is more than just what we put in our mouths. We have traditions that revolve around food. We eat certain things out of habit. We eat because it makes us feel good, etc. To change our diet completely would be like moving to another country and culture. In the web broadcast Dr. Fuhrman said that to be healthy, everyone should make sure the following 6 things were in their diet daily.
1/2 cup beans
3 fresh fruits
1 oz raw nuts and seeds
1 large salad
1 large serving steamed green vegetables

some mushrooms or onions every day

Even these 6 things would be a huge change for some people, so I was thinking what if you just chose one of these things to add to your diet for a week or 2 and then pick another to work on.
Just a thought. So my goal this week is to add more beans. Beans are good real food.  You just have to find some that you like. Today I chose garbanzo. I had leftover stir-fry in my fridge, so for lunch today I threw 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans in the stir-fry and heated it up. And it was yummy.
I also bought that bean soup mix that I always see. You just add water and whatever else vegetable-ish that you want to throw in. Has anyone ever tried it?
Beans are fiber and nutrient packed and actually contain a wider variety of healthy nutrients than most foods. These include calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid. They also have anti-cancer benefits against breast and prostate cancers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Motivation from my Google Reader

Sites I follow that motivate and inspire me to eat right or get moving!
Trainer Momma  Mandi is a certified personal trainer and certified nutrition and wellness consultant.  She posts workouts, recipes, giveaways, and answers questions from readers.  She also posts really helpful videos demonstrating how to do different exercises.
Super Healthy Kids Amy is all about teaching kids healthy eating habits. She posts weekly kid friendly menus along with recipes, tips and ideas for raising Super Healthy Kids.  Oh, and she has some great giveaways! 
Disease Proof.com  Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the author of Eat to Live and Eat For Health. Disease Proof is his blog. It's a forum to promote discussion on diet, fitness, health and green living.

Another site that I visit from time to time is Prevention.com. 
Health Tracker  I use the Health Tracker on Prevention.com to get an idea of how many calories I'm actually eating and burning off with different types of exercise. I can also track my weight and measurements.  It has all kinds of reports and graphs you can use to track your progress.  It will also tell you if you're getting the RDA of vitamins and minerals and all that fun stuff.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If I don't want it, it's not Willpower

 A friend of mine recently commented that she admired my willpower.  I thought that was so strange. I don't have any more willpower than any one else.  What I do have now that I didn't before is Knowledge.  I've tried the weight loss thing for years with zero results, until last year when it finally clicked.  Now that I know the Why and the Why Not behind my eating and exercise choices, it's simple. No willpower required.

Here are some of the books that have really helped me:

The Culprit and the Cure:Why Lifestyle is the Culprit Behind America's Poor Health by Steven Aldana. Once you understand why your current lifestyle is causing poor health and see what is meant by good nutrition and physical activity, you will be more ready to change your behaviors.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan He talks about the Western diet and its detrimental effects on our bodies and culture.  We're overfed and under nourished!

Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman  This will educate you on why you on the importance of eating vegetables, fruit, and beans and contains a 6 week plan to lose weight quickly eating plenty of real food.  Eat For Health: Lose Weight, Keep it Off, Look Younger, Live Longer by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  This is a 2 book set and is similar to Eat To Live except that it gradually eases you into Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian lifestyle in phases. It's also about losing weight, but more about becoming healthy and preventing and reversing diseases caused by the Standard American Diet. (Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.) The second book in the set contains recipes.  I haven't used many of them because the ingredients aren't simple common ingredients, at least where I live. But I'd still recommend reading it. 

Mormon Wisdom and Health by Kenneth E. Johnson, MD  This book is out of print, but it's a good one if you can find it. It contains scientific evidence that backs up the Mormon "Word of Wisdom" health guidelines.

Conspiracy Theory and a Size 4

I stopped off at Old Navy's clearance rack the other day to look for jeans.  First, I need to say that I don't remember ever buying a size 4 in my life.  And I have to admit that I was a little giddy when they actually fit.  But then I became suspicious. This can't be right. "Old Navy has realized that it if they tag things smaller than they are,  people would buy them because it's good for self esteem! :) I've discovered their marketing strategy." Vanity sizing!  So I tried on a pair of shorts and a pair of capris in the same size. And they fit.  And I bought them all.  It worked on me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie #1
serving size: 16 oz

1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen peaches
1/6 cup almond milk or skim milk (1/6 is half of one third cup)
1/3 cup orange juice OR 1 medium orange, peeled of course
1/3 cup Dannon All Natural Vanilla Yogurt
1 small carrot peeled & chopped.  Optional. You might as well add it. It doesn't change the flavor.

Put everything in the blender, frozen peaches on top. Blend & Enjoy.

Green Smoothie #2 (My healthier version!)
serving size: 18 oz

1 cup packed baby spinach
1 kale leaf
1 small carrot peeled and chopped into a few pieces
1 small apple cored and cut into a few pieces
1 cup Mixed Frozen Fruit or Berries *(Sam's club has a mix of peaches, mangoes, pineapples & strawberries)
1/6 cup almond milk
1/3 cup OJ or a small orange


Put everything in the blender, frozen fruit on top.  Blend and enjoy. If you don't have a BlendTec or a Vitamix, you'll want to use more liquid and chop the carrot and apple before blending.
It also blends better if you blend everything but the frozen stuff first and then add the frozen.

 Don't let the color of this smoothie scare you.  It turns out brownish purple because of the berries, but it's good.   I drink one of these smoothies every day. Sometime I'll do a kiwi instead of an apple.
If you're feeling brave:  I've also added 1/4 avocado or 1/4 small beet to this smoothie.

Random Food Journal

Breakfast: 1/4 cup (dry) Steel Cut Oats made with water and with 1 small apple chopped, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup raisins, cinnamon. 1/3 cup cranberry juice.

Workout: 1 hour Zumba
Snack: Water, banana
Lunch: 3/4cup Rice and Bean Salad, 1 tomato, small carrot,water

Dinner: Green Smoothie, 1 egg scrambled, 1 tomato, 3/4 cup mixed veggies. Slice whole wheat chocolate chip zucchini bread. Water
Snack: Another slice zucchini bread. (Substituted most of the oil with applesauce, used whole wheat flour).
Weigh in:  128.0
For links to these recipes and more go to my Healthy Recipes page.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Healthify-ing Dinner

Tonight I made pizza for dinner.  Here's what I did to make it a more healthy meal.
* Homemade Whole Wheat Crust. I usually grind my own whole wheat flour but you don't have to.  Grinding your own is cheaper and healthier. Whole wheat flour loses it's nutrition if it sits longer than 6 months.
* Instead of using canned pizza sauce which is spendy and not so healthy, I used a can of tomato sauce, added a sprinkle of sugar and some Italian seasoning.  Most canned pizza/spaghetti sauce contains HFCS which I try to avoid.
* Use turkey pepperoni.  It tastes the same, but has much less fat.
* Add veggies for your toppings.  Tonight we had yellow squash, zucchini, and mushrooms.  Also good:  fresh spinach, garden tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and pineapple.
* Go easy on the cheese.  If you cut back gradually, you won't notice when you use less cheese. Or skip it all together.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is something else that was helpful to me when I decided I was going to get healthy.  I'm a bit of  a perfectionist which carries over to my eating.  If I decide I'm going to eat healthy and then I go ahead and have a piece of cheese cake at book club, then I feel like I've failed.  The 80/20 rule tells me that if I eat good things 80% of the time, then it's ok not to 20% of the time.
I have to admit that at this point, I'm more of a 90/10 sort of gal, but that came later.  Anyway, this worked great for me. I'd eat mostly healthy food all week, and then I could feel OK about going out for Mexican food on Saturday night.  This also helped me cut down on the pop.  Coke was a hard thing for me to give up. If I told myself that I'd never drink another Coke, of course I'd want one immediately.  So instead I'd have one a week.  Some foods just need a coke to go with them (think Pizza and Bajio).  So at first I drank pop, but much less than usual.  The more I read and learned, the less I craved it. It's now been months since I've had a pop.  And I'm OK with that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here's The Secret

I read somewhere that you shouldn't eat anything your grandmother (or maybe we should say great-grandmother) wouldn't recognize as food. What!? No fruit snacks, Nutrasweet, Gogurt or soda pop?  No dino nuggets, fast food, corn dogs or Budget Gourmet dinners?  That's right folks.  Our bodies were designed to eat real food.
So bring on the fruits, veggies, whole grain breads and beans. Bring on the grass-fed beef and the farm fresh eggs.  That was my first step toward healthy eating.