Mission Statement

I will in general eat healthy, eat "normal" food, without gimmicks, pills, surgery, or trademarked diets. I will log all calories consumed and estimate calories burned on a daily basis. I will then be able to track my progress and estimate arrival time to my goals through My Food Log. I will also develop non-food rewards for reaching my goals knowing that reaching each goal is a reward in-and-of itself. I will not give up. I know that I will not be perfect but that I am making a permanent lifestyle change. The good days will out-number the bad days. I will not give up!


Cravings! But Why?

by Christina_2009

My wonderful husband is trying to turn me on to a site called Life Hacker. At the top of their home page are tabs to what they call "hacks". There are several categories including "food", "food hacks", and "kitchen". A few weeks ago, hubby forwarded an article to me.

"Food: What your cravings are trying to tell you." The chart found at the link is pretty good. It even highlights certain types of cravings like that time of the month cravings. Apparently general overeating... the stuff that I do... is caused from your body craving Silicon, Tryptophan, and Tyrosine. You can find these minerals? enzymes? vitamins?... food additives in nuts, seeds, cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach, vitamin C, and orange, green, and red fruits and vegetables.
This seems to make sense to me that my body is craving something when I over indulge. I'm not supposed to eat any nuts or seeds (whole) because I have diver's ticulitus (or ticulosus depending)... a degenerative disease of the colon. So I over eat because I'm craving silicon... interesting. Perhaps my body also needs tyrosine because I don't seem to overeat after my daily lunch has included yellow squash (well steamed), broccoli (also well steamed) and red bell pepper (seeds removed). See My Food Log for examples of said days.
So, check it out. Can you identify with any of the cravings listed? Are your cravings quelled after you eat some of the recommended foods?

We Can Do It!
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Eating Out, Easy On The Extras

by Christina_2009

What are the least healthy fast food choices? According to helpguide.org it's mostly the sides. But some of my favorites are on this list too.

Most unhealthy sides/extras:
cheese sauce
"special sauce"
tartar sauce
sour cream
gravy (country or brown)

Most unhealthy menu items:
chicken nuggets
croissants, most pastries in general, and croissant breakfast sandwiches
fried fish sandwich
fried chicken sandwich
fried chicken
large and jumbo sized fries
onion rings

Ah, I miss the soda, guacamole, sour cream, tartar sauce, "special sauce", fish sandwhich, chicken sandwich, fries and onion rings. That's most of the stuff on this list. And it's probably the reason I packed on the pounds. Here's to do 0r diet and We Can Do This!

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More Ways To Cut 100 Calories

by Christina_2009

From americaonthemove.org with my own embellishments of course. Also, see Little Changes, Big Results from Wednesday's post. One note I found that I will repeat word for word....
"Some health experts say that the increasing number of overweight Americans is caused, on average, by an imbalance of just 100 extra calories per day. Eating a little less, moving a little more or doing a bit of both can help you stop weight gain and achieve calorie balance."

That being said, as I mentioned on Wednesday... if you cut just 100 calories per day from your diet and don't replace them, or if you can burn 100 calories more by exercising... the average person will loose 1 pound per month for a total of 12 pounds lost per year. Cutting 100 calories is easy.

Eat frozen fruit instead of ice cream. I mentioned this in Thursday's post as well.

Make your own smoothie out of low fat/lite yogurt, fresh fruit, and skim milk. Also, eat lite yogurt instead of regular yogurt whenever possible. Remember, little changes = big results. You can probably cut 15-30 calories just by doing this one.

Don't snack on chips or pretzels from the bag. Use a bowl. Also, get smaller bowls so smaller portions seem to fill them up more. I use 10 oz. cups and leave a little header at the top.

Try sugar free gelatin (jello) with fruit poured in. I think Dole is selling this in individual sizes now.

Substitute hummus for mayo on sandwiches. It's also great with raw veggies... it's about the only way I can stand to eat raw veggies. You can also use it in place of cheese dip on tortilla or pita chips.

Rinse away syrups from fruits packed in water. I also mentioned this Thursday. Try fruit packed in its own unsweetened juice or fruit packed in water.

Choose smaller pieces of fruit or have half of a larger piece. Some apples get huge. Have half of that sized fruit. It will still count as a whole serving. Use your fist as a portion estimator. Just about any food portion should be the same size or smaller than your fist.

Make kabobs with fruit and fat free cheese. If you bite both at the same time you won't notice the taste of the cheese. This was also mentioned yesterday.... are these guys using the same source?

Focus on the fruit and veggie when using a dip. Keep in mind the portion size of dips, usually 2 tablespoons... not very much. Try fat free cream cheese, fat free dressing, low-fat caramel, or lite yogurt for dips. Again, little changes = big results. You can probably cut out as much as the whole 100 calories by watching your dip portion and using lower calorie alternatives.

Have 1 less handful of nuts. A serving size of Planter's Peanuts is 39 pieces, not 39 whole peanuts. Also, try reduced fat peanut butter or natural peanut butter with the oil poured off instead of mixed in. Try using only 1 tablespoon instead of the recommended serving size (two tablespoons) of peanut butter on a sandwich. It can be spread pretty thin. You still get all the flavor of the peanut butter and maybe your sandwich won't stick to the roof of your mouth. Drink skim milk instead of whole milk to scrape the peanut butter off the roof of your mouth. Doing this will definitely cut at least 100 calories.

Don't add butter to your microwave popcorn. Buy varieties of popcorn without added butter or even butter flavor.

Got a craving for chocolate? Take tiny bites and let it melt on your tongue. Have half the recommended serving size. Also, try a fat free Snack Pack or other individually sized chocolate pudding. This way you get a serving of dairy in too.

Do or Diet

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Frozen, Fresh, Dried, Canned... They All Count

by Christina_2009

So if you follow the USDA Food Pyramid Guidelines, the average adult should have 9, NINE I say, servings of fruits and veggies everyday. How in the world do you incorporate 9 fruits and veggies into your daily menu? I don't. I should. But I just can't seem to squeeze them all in. Here are some tips from the Department of Health and Human Services USA and the Center for Disease Control.

Add fruit to your cereal... if you even have room in your menu for cereal. I don't, so I usually just have the fruit. But, I have been eating oatmeal lately. Perhaps I could eat 1/2 the oatmeal and slice some peach in too....hmmmm. Oh yea, and what about grits? Are they a vegetable? And, expounding on that thought, do corn chips count as a vegetable? Probably not.

Eat a salad every day. Most salads use iceburg lettuce mix. Iceburg lettuce has absolutely NO nutritional value. It's not even a significant source of fiber. Just about any other type of lettuce has at least some vitamin A and fiber. I get baby spinach as the base for my salads. Baby field greens are good too.

Have raw veggies or fruit as a snack. I like plain fruit but I really, really, really don't like very many raw veggies. I like cucumber... but isn't that really a fruit. I also like tomatoes, but aren't they technically a fruit too. I love steamed broccoli, but hate it raw. I also hate raw carrots, cauliflower, and celery. Anybody out there got some suggestions for this one?

Have two veggies with dinner and fruit for dessert. I was brought up with the two veggie sides. But one was usually a starch... potato. I still tend to serve this way. I could definitely work on this one. Fruit for dessert... sure if I can spare the calories.

Top yogurt and ice cream with fresh fruit. Lite yogurt and fruit... iffy... the sweetness of the fruit against the artificial sweetener in the yogurt makes that artificial bitterness stand out. Ice cream... no way. I have very little will power. If there's ice cream in the house it's probably already in my stomach...err... around my stomach and thighs.

Use fresh fruit instead of jelly. I can see this with bananas but raw apples are a little hard to spread. I suppose unsweetened apple sauce would work pretty well. It might even pretend to be apple butter on biscuits and toast... if you can eat biscuits. Hey now, berries might work too.

Put veggies in your omelet or eggs. Yup! I love green pepper, hot peppers, and onions in my eggs. The only problem is that I want to put cheese into them too.

Keep a small box or bag of dried fruit in your purse or lunch bag. That's actually a novel idea to me. Gotta watch the portions though with dried fruit. It takes up less space so you might find yourself eating more than an ordinary serving. Also, without the water you might not fill up as fast, but I think this is still a good idea.

Freeze fresh fruit. Freeze whole grapes, melon balls, and pineapple chunks. I LOVE frozen grapes. They're almost like a substitute for ice cream... almost, more like a sub for popsicles. Try frozen fruit cabobs or frozen fruit on a stick. How well do banana slices freeze?

If you've got room in the menu for pizza, try more veggies and less cheese and meat. I like Hawaiian style pizza, Canadian bacon (ham) and pineapple. Ooh, ooh, look, I figured out a way to add fruit to pizza.

Eat more salsa instead of cheese. I also LOVE salsa, but not picante sauce. There is a distinct difference to me. Fresh from the Mexican restaurant salsa is my favorite. I have to be careful to avoid the deep fried tortilla chips though. Salsa is obviously good on Mexican food but it's also good as a dip for veggies and with eggs. That's huevos rancheros right?

Add veggies to casseroles, stews, soups, and pasta. Sounds simple enough. It wouldn't really be hard to add a can of beans to a soup or stew. It might also be good to put frozen broccoli or peas in pasta or casserole.

Canned fruit counts too. Be careful of the packing liquid. Some fruits can be packed in water. There are several varieties of fruits packed in lite syrup too. You can also pour canned fruit into a colander and rinse the syrup away. Canned fruit is good to have on hand because it takes up little pantry space and doesn't spoil quickly.

Remember, little changes, big results and we can do this!

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Little Changes, Big Results

by Christina_2009

Did you know that by just cutting out 100 calories a day you will loose about a pound a month for a total of 12 pounds a year. 1oo calories less a day is easy. Here are some tips on how to do it. You probably won't even miss those calories anyway.

Try lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle on sandwiches instead of cheese.

Use light or fat free mayo whenever possible. You probably won't miss it when you use it in tuna or chicken salad. Also, try to use smaller amounts than recipes call for.

Use tuna packed in water, not oil.

Try a turkey tortilla wrap, and don't forget the veggies.

Use lite whole wheat bread. That alone will save you at least 50 calories a day.

Try a veggie burger, but mind how you prepare it... microwave or in the pan with cooking spray.

Use smaller tortillas (6-8 in.) instead of larger burrito size.

Use low fat or fat free sour cream. Also, plain yogurt is great on baked potatoes.

Use low fat or fat free dairy products in general (i.e. cottage cheese, skim milk).

Skip the croutons on salads.

Use light, low fat and reduced fat dressings and sauces.

Incorporate just a few of these tips into your daily eating habits and wa-la! You'll cut out at least 100 calories a day and be on your way to a healthier, slimmer you. Just remember not to replace the calories you are giving up other calories or worse habits.

Source: www.americaonthemove.org

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I'm A Loser

by Christina_2009

The season premier of The Biggest Loser is on right now. Have you seen it? What do you think about this show? I know there's alot of overly exaggerated drama...

...but I really like the show. To be quite honest, it was about this time last year, while watching the show over a heaping bowl of ice cream that I first thought (since giving birth), "...now might be a good time to change my life."
I didn't actually start to do anything about changing my life until this past February when I participated in the Anderson Area Shrink Down. It was a series of free seminars and events focused on healthy living. A slew of organizations and businesses hosted the program. The focus of the program was on healthy living in general but there was a ton of information and events focused on helping people loose weight. Weekly weigh-ins were offered for 8 weeks.
I lost 1/2 of a pound in the entire 8 weeks. I was disappointed and came out with the attitude of, "What's the point?" But the more I thought about the program, the more I realized, just participating in a program won't help me shed pounds. I have to participate, change my lifestyle, and do the work all by myself. I can't blame anyone or anything for my shortcomings.
Then I re-read the printed materials I received during the program and visited some of the suggested web sites. I learned sooooo much.
The key, I think, is in the little things. Change a little here and a little there. Lots of little changes add up to big results. A couple of weeks ago I finished the first 8 weeks of My Diet Plan. This time, with more knowledge and desire, I lost about 19 pounds. Lots of little changes add up to big results. So there's where I got my start. What did it for you? And what do you think of The Biggest Loser?
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Healthy Hydration

by Christina_2009

Since the last article was about water weight, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about healthy hydration. I'm sharing more information I picked up at the Anderson Area Shrink Down. My source for this article is again, AmericaOnTheMove.org.

Water in the body serves several important functions. Having the right amount of water is essential for healthy living. Having at least some water is essential for living period. It is impossible under any circumstances to sustain life for more than a week without water. Water is therefore a life-force. It also regulates body temperature. Water helps cushion and protect your vital organs. Water is also important for proper digestion and to the digestive tract in and of itself. The average person can loose more than a whole quart of water during just one hour of exercise.
Here are some hopefully helpful hints for healthy hydration (and some alliteration:-)
Drink 4 - 8 oz. of clear fluid at least 1 hour before starting an exercise session.
Drink another 8 oz. of clear fluid about 20 to 30 minutes before starting an exercise session.
Drink 4 - 8 oz. of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes while exercising.
Drink another 8 oz. of clear fluid within 30 minutes of finishing an exercise session.
If you have a particularly active day when you have actually lost whole pounds during the day, then you should drink 8 oz. of clear fluid for every pound lost.
Caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate the body. Be sure to compensate for their dehydrating effect by drinking 4 - 8 oz. of clear fluid for every 2 - 8 oz. of caffeinated or alcoholic beverage consumed.

There is such a thing as drinking too much water. The results are called hydro-psychosis or hydro-intoxication. Hydro-psychosis or hydro-intoxication in extreme cases can cause death. It is caused by the body rapidly becoming desalinated causing vital organs to shut down.
Avoid drinking too much water at the same time. Don't skip on "pre-hydration" before exercise and then attempt to compensate by drinking excessive amounts of water after exercise. Some symptoms of hydro-psychosis include head ache, nausea, fever, cold sweat, chills, and racing or sluggish pulse. Inability to concentrate and behavior like that of an intoxicated person are also signs of this desalination of the blood stream.
Hydro-psychosis and hydro-intoxication can also be caused by attempts to flush the body of toxins. Avoid drinking more than 20 oz. of clear fluid in the an hour more than once a day.

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Wait! Wait! Water Weight?

by Christina_2009

Did you know the average person's body weight will fluctuate about 3 pounds from day to day? This is due to water retention or release. This is one reason people who are dieting should NOT get on the scale everyday.

There are varying opinions of how often one should weight. I think Bob Greene suggests weighing at the end of a 3 month period. I try not to weigh more than once a month. Some folks do it once a week. And then there are those who are addicted to the scale, they weigh everyday and sometimes more than once a day. This type of obsession with the scale is only a set up for failure. There really is very little you can do to prevent this 3 pound fluctuation and ladies... it's worse for us than the men.
Some things that can influence water retention include:
amount of salt or sodium in even just one serving of a particular food
the body's general level of hydration
amount of sleep you get (in one night or on a regular basis)
how much exercise you are doing
type of exercise you are doing
how long you stay in the bath
amount of fiber in your diet
your diet in general.
In other words, there are too many factors to control to count on eliminating that daily fluctuation. Sure you could take steps to minimize this fluctuation, but I think your energy would be better spent developing your healthy eating habits and exercising more. Bottom line... stay off the scale as much as possible. Work on changing your menu, eating habits, and incorporate more physical activity. Don't worry about what the scale says. Focus on your habits. You WILL see positive changes.
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