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Saturday, September 26th, 2009
1:21 pm - Ice Cream can CONTROL YOUR MIND!

r_a_l_i_g_h
from www.amenclinics.com

Have you ever told yourself you were only going to eat a couple bites of ice cream only to wolf down an entire pint — or more — of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey? If so, you probably thought you simply had no control over what you were eating… and you could be right. According to new research, ice cream can control your brain.

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A fascinating new study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation has found that a certain fat found in foods like ice cream, burgers, and cheese can hijack your brain and trick it into telling your body to continue eating more than you should... for up to three days! The brain sends out messages to your body’s cells to ignore the usual signals from the appetite hormones leptin and insulin that tell you when to stop eating.

The researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas pinpointed a certain type of fat called palmitic acid that changes your brain chemistry quickly and leads to overeating. It is found in things like butter, milk, cheese, and beef. It explains why so many of us tend to overeat when we have things like burgers, pizza, and ice cream.

High-fat foods can lead to short-term memory loss and sluggishness. This study offers yet another reason why high-fat foods are bad for your brain and body. For a better brain and body, limit foods that are high in saturated fat.

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Sunday, October 12th, 2008
1:49 pm - Gourmet meals in a toaster oven?

twop_tjl
I ran across an interesting series of cooking videos on-line. A guy is making gourmet meals using a toaster oven. I can't eat most of them, but I thought I'd share.

In the list are such things as: Roasted Bananas with Rosemary, Goat Cheese Truffles, and Tomatoes Provençal.

I recommend taking a look.

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Monday, July 14th, 2008
3:14 pm - WOW! You've got to try this!!!

r_a_l_i_g_h
Omigosh, you guys! I have discovered a daily supplement that I can't get enough of! The more I research it, the more impressed I become! I had to come share what I've learned.

Here is just the highlights of what it is PROVEN to do:

~ Naturally suppress your appetite
~ Help you lose weight and KEEP it off
~ Give you better skin
~ Limit your PMS/cramps/etc
~ Alleviate or stop many kinds of headaches
~ Give you more energy
~ Control water retention and bloating
~ May even help stop "cottage cheese thighs" from developing!!!

I know it sounds to good to be true, but I have already experienced some of it and the rest is documented in scientific studies and it is also endorsed by the AMA, FDA, American Heart Association, and the Mayo Clinic, among others. So it's not some trendy "fad"

Plus, it is 100% natural, hypoallergenic, and completely non-addictive, so you can take it daily! In fact, you see the best results when you take it regularly and frequently.

Best of all (IMO), unlike so many healthy supplements, it's COST EFFECTIVE!!! I can't understand why nobody seems to have heard of this!

Okay, I'll hide the rest of my product pimping behind a cut to be polite - Click to hear me rave more about this wonder drugCollapse )

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Friday, July 11th, 2008
2:29 pm - Different Mindset, Different Lifestyle, Different Choices

r_a_l_i_g_h
Mentally, I've been here for quite some time. Even emotionally.

But lately, I've realized that I've made a breakthrough at being done on a PRACTICAL level as well.

It's not just desire and thought process anymore - it's planning and action!

EXAMPLE #1:
There's a free lecture series at the college right outside my neighborhood this morning and right after I decided to go, I decided that I would be WALKING to get to the auditorium, to get some extra exercise. (it's about 3/4 mile one way)

(I would do it tonight as well, except it's not supposed to be over until after 10pm and I don't really want to walk by myself across campus late at night. I've done it before, but by the well-lit track field on the far side near my house, plus I had my dog.)

EXAMPLE #2:
The non-profit I work for is hosting a three-day retreat in mid-September. I am ALREADY thinking and planning how I can arrange my schedule to get exercise time in while I'm there!



What are some practical ways you're demonstrating a changed lifestyle lately?

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Monday, July 7th, 2008
4:44 pm - A picture is worth 1,000 calories ... or MORE

r_a_l_i_g_h
I just grabbed the picture I used in the last post at random from Google Images.

It was a cute pic of a lunchbox and it looked like a fairly healthy lunch.

But then, when I looked at it later (just after entering my own calories for the day in the Spark Food Tracker) I got to thinking ... is that really a healthy lunch?

First of all, there's way too much of it for a good weight loss meal (two sandwiches, two snacks AND four pieces of fruit? Overkill.)

So I decided to enter the ingredients (or my best guess) into the food tracker to see what came up.

Here's the image again if you want to compare with my calculationsCollapse )

LUNCH

Banana, fresh, 1 medium (7" to 7-7/8" long)
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
109 1 28 1 3

Swiss Cheese, 4 slice (1 oz each)
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
426 31 4 32 0

Bread, whole wheat (including toast), 4 slice
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
512 10 95 15 11

Orange Juice, 8 oz
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
110 1 25 2 0

Tangerines, 2 small (2-1/4" dia)
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
62 0 16 1 3

Apple, fresh, 1 medium (2-3/4" dia)
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
81 0 21 0 4

Twix chocolate fudge cookie bars, 100 grams
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
550 34 54 8 4

Rold Gold Pretzel Sticks, 1 serving
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
100 0 23 2 1


Meal Totals
Cal. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
1,950 / 89 / 243 / 62 / 26




That's pretty good numbers, actually, ... FOR AN ENTIRE DAY'S WORTH OF MEALS!!!

And I was assuming they ate the sandwiches dry, with no mayo or anything and there was no meat or other ingredients to increase the calories.

Wow.

Those calorie counts can really sneak up on you, even in an apparently healthy and balanced meal, can't they?

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10:42 am - Lunch Quiz!

r_a_l_i_g_h
It's Monday.

Another work week is upon us.

Back to the daily grind.

Back to trying to make healthy choices in a fastfood and vending machine world.

So, question and answer time: What are you planning for lunch today?

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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
1:50 pm - Bikini Diet!

r_a_l_i_g_h
From SparkPeople.com

The Bikini Diet ~ A Fun & Easy Way to Slim Down for Summer



Pool parties, beachfront vacations, and water park adventures…ahhh the joys of summer are almost upon us! To celebrate the causal, relaxed pace of the season, SparkPeople is happy and excited to introduce The Bikini Diet, a fun and simple way to control portions, shed a few pounds, and feel fit and energized.

There is no weighing food, no carrying around measuring cups and spoons, no special foods to purchase or prepare. The Bikini Diet can be used at home with the family, at the neighborhood cookout, or when dining out with friends. So bring that itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini back into your life—it’s a wonderful tool when it comes to healthy eating.

Bikini Tip #1: Start with a 9-inch plate.

You may not be surprised to learn that as our waistlines have increased, so have the sizes of our plates. Get our your plate and measure its diameter with a ruler—don’t eyeball it. If your plate is bigger than 9 inches, put it back on the shelf and get a new one!

Bikini Tip #2: Visualize a bikini on your nine-inch plate.

* The bikini top has two bra cups that each cover one-fourth of the plate.
o A serving of meat, legumes, or tofu should fit on one of the bra cups. Notice that a 10-ounce steak will not fit, but a 3-ounce steak will.
o Place your choice of bread, rice, pasta, or starchy vegetable (such as corn, potatoes, peas, or lima beans) on the other bikini bra cup, also covering one-fourth of the plate.

* The bikini bottom covers the lower half of your plate and will hold your vegetables and salad. You can select a large portion of one vegetable or salad, or smaller portions of several.

Bikini Tip #3: Don’t forget the sunscreen!

An 8-ounce bottle of sunscreen is the perfect visual to represent the amount of low-fat milk to enjoy with your meal.

Bikini Tip #4: Sweeten with fruit.

Picture a tennis ball, balancing inside a large seashell. Your fruit selection should be about the size of that tennis ball. You can enjoy your fruit with your meal, or save it for a snack later in the day.

* When selecting berries or melon, you can enjoy 2 fruit selections, since these types of fruit are low in calories and high in water content.
* On occasion, you may want to substitute a dessert in place of the fruit. This dessert portion should also fit into the shell.

Bikini Tip #5: Imagine a tube of sunscreen lip balm.

Add this amount of fat to your meal. This could be salad dressing, olive oil used to sauté vegetables, butter or margarine, sour cream, or mayonnaise for a sandwich.

Bikini Tip #6: For breakfast, think bikini top only.

Enjoy your meat and grain items on the bikini top. Add some low-fat milk the size of your sunscreen bottle, and fruit that fits in your large shell.

Bikini Tip #7: The bikini body is an active body.

The Bikini Diet encourages getting 30 minutes of lifestyle activity 5-6 days a week. To get you in the mood, turn on those wonderful sounds from the Beach Blanket Bingo era. Vacuum, dust, mop, wash the car, garden, and "twist and shout" your way to a new healthier you!



I thought this was a clever and fun way to visualize portion control. The mental image sticks with you!

I actually bought a set of brightly colored 8" plates and some pretty little bowls at a local discount store last week. I use dessert-size bowls for regular food and the finger bowl size for desserts. It really has helped me stick to serving sizes, I think.

(A half a cup of ice cream looks like a whole lot MORE in a half-cup bowl, than in a two- or three-cup bowl, you know!)





What are some of the ways you work on portion control and balanced eating?

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Monday, June 30th, 2008
11:31 am - Wagons HO!

r_a_l_i_g_h
So, as you all have probably realized, I've kinda taken an extended break from my health-and-fitness-related pursuits over the last year...plus.

Didn't intend for it to be that long, and certainly didn't intend to wind up putting about 25 pounds back on, but the other areas that I wanted to concentrate on have greatly improved and I don't see this year as a waste at all. Besides, I think I am now even better able to face this weight-loss issue head on and conquer!

I'm back at exercising regularly (In fact, daily since Thursday!) and watching what I eat. (Although, mostly right now, it's a different focus than simply calorie-cutting.)

I realize that lots and lots of heavy people are always getting back on the weight-loss wagon "for good this time!" and it can sound like the same old pattern with a lot of positive but empty promises and "yeah, we've heard this before"

But you see, I never got off the wagon. I deliberately chose to pull over and park for a while instead of moving forward because I could see how I was using improvements in this one area to allow me to shrug off other areas that also needed work and I didn't want that.

And now I AM back on the road again. And I'm building momentum in ALL the different areas in my life that I want to keep working on.

But best of all, now I am doing this (healthy diet and exercise), NOT so I can get to a certain size or achieve a specific goal. I am doing this because it is good for me and healthy and will improve my quality (and quantity!) of life.

Because it's the right thing to do.

The weight loss is merely incidental (though I am looking forward to that, I must say!) This time I'm moving forward with a different mindset and a different motivation.

That's how I know this is not the same as a yo-yo dieter's New Year's resolution piecrust promise.

How are you guys doing?

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Monday, November 5th, 2007
5:10 pm - Feed a Cold, Feed a Flu

r_a_l_i_g_h
'Tis the season for the sniffles!

And when you're sick you tend to not want to eat, but you need to eat to build up your strength and your immune system.

When your tummy's rumblely it's best to stick to the BRAT diet - Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Nice and bland but with good vitamins and nutrients and fiber (well, with wholegrain rice and toast).

Another helpful aid is natural ginger ale. It should be available at your local healthfood store. This REALLY works on nausea, and is pretty tasty, too. (If a LOT stronger than carbonated ginger ale)


If you don't have stomach ailments, but still don't feel like eating much, there's always that good ol' standby - Chicken Soup.

But DON'T grab the canned stuff - not only is it loaded with sodium, but you can do it so much better, and pretty easily, too!

In fact, I just made a gallon or two in our giant pot for dinner tonight (we've got a couple sickies, recovering sickies, and soon-to-be sickies around here)

I started with the remains of one of those $5 deli roast chickens (about 50-75% of it was still left, I bought it yesterday expressly for this purpose) this way there's no worries about thawing or cooking meat.

Pulled most of the meat from the bone, chopped it, and tossed the meat AND rest of the carcus into the pot of water (boiling gets the scraps of meat off the bones and adds a surprising amount of flavor. One of my very very favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the turkey soup we make out of the leftovers and the bones. You can strain 'em out later no big deal)

Set up your food processer with the slicing blade and run some carrots and a few stalks of celery through it. (I also always pull the leaves off our celery bunches and throw them in the pot - they have good nutrients and the only way to eat it really is in soup.) I like lots of veggies (plus, they're good for you and add all those vitamins to the broth) so do a bunch.

Switch to the chopper blade and do a couple onions, some garlic (unless you have a jar of pre-minced garlic, than add a spoonful or so - Garlic is EXCELLENT for you and for fighting germs and building your immune system. Plus, you're sick. It's not like you're going anywhere and need to worry about garlic-breath, right?) and a bell-pepper or two.

NOTE: for extra flavor, it would be best to start by sauteing the bells, garlic and onions in some olive oil in the bottom of the pot you're going to make the soup in. But it works fine this way, too.

Add some parsley for flavor and nutrients (fresh parsley is an excellent source of Vitamins K, C, and A, as well as iron, folate, and beta-carotene. Dried much less so, but still good for you) and some Italian Seasoning and a little salt to taste.

If you want more fiber/filler you can also make sure you have enough broth and add some dry brown rice to the pot to cook. (MUCH better for you than noodles!)

Allow it to cook for a while and then, once carrots are softened remove bones with a slotted spoon (I use our spaghetti spoon with it's hooked edges) and add some fresh or frozen peas and corn for additional vitamins (and color! this is a very colorful and pretty soup!) If fresh they'll need to cook a little longer than frozen.

That's all there is to it. Other than scrubbing vegetables and running the food processer, it's mostly a case of dump, cover, and wait.

Then you'll have a nice big pot of comfort food du jour ... with way less salt and additives and WAY more flavor and nutrients than the storebought kind.



And if you're REALLY lucky, like me, you have warm, fresh homemade bread or biscuits to eat with it!

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Thursday, October 18th, 2007
11:36 am - Recipe: Chunky Chilli

r_a_l_i_g_h
Hey, y'all!

So, I've kinda taken a hiatus on my active weightloss/exercising while I focused on some other things in my life. But I've been regaining momentum and part of that includes returning to this journal.

We'll start out small. Today I bring you a recipe I invented on the fly for dinner last night that became an instant hit.

It's warm, filling, tasty, low-fat, low-sodium, and full of lots of protein and fiber and niacin and iron and all sorts of other good-for-you nutrients!

Chunky Rainbow Chili

I chopped 1 large bell pepper and 1 large onion and sauted them in some olive oil with about 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic in a large saucepan.

When they were softened, I added about 8 oz ground turkey and cooked that as well (I'd say "browned" it, except beef browns, turkey sorta ... whitens.)

To this mixture I added:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed,
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed,
1 can chili beans, (red beans with chili flavoring already added) NOT drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, NOT drained
1 can chopped green chilies
About 1.5 cup frozen corn


Then I just let it kinda simmer and heat through.

You can, of course, alter the ratio and/or types of beans to suit your own tastes.

INCREDIBELY easy (and also TASTY!) and very attractive, too.

I like most chili, but only in moderation because it's all very one-note. No texture, taste, or color differences in the whole pot. This was not at all like that.

Younger-Younger Brother (my official taste-tester as he is ALWAYS ready to eat) said that there was "a little bit of sweet under the spicy and then there's a really nice strong 'kick' to it"

He also ate four bowls.

That's not enough of a reccomendation?

Younger-Younger Sister, who we all worry about making eat enough of anything that isn't fruit or plain veggies (she's glutan-intolerant, so there are a lot of restrictions) ate THREE bowls over the course of the evening. (and staked a claim to the last bowl of leftovers)




Any easy meals you've invented lately?

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Friday, July 20th, 2007
9:42 am - Yay me!

spadada
I exercised today. For the first time in--no exaggeration--probably 7 years. I feel like I want to puke, but I also feel great. I joined Curves because there is one less than a mile from my house, I don't feel uncomfortable there, and the workout is doable. If I get to a point where I want to be doing more, I can always start walking there. Then jogging. Then jogging on my off days. But for now, one 30-minute workout three times a week is a lot more than "Does typing count?"

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Sunday, July 15th, 2007
8:02 pm - Dealing with sweets
rssrss So, I could use some help too. I've basically stopped going to the gym, what with one thing and another, but while I'm determined to go back, my biggest problem is now with sweets. I don't think I've gained back much, of the weight I lost, miraculously enough, though I think I've definitely put back on a few, instead of losing, and I certainly have lost some muscle, but I'm know I'm going to put on more soon if I can't stop eating sweets. Since my grandmother moved in with us, the house has been inundated with food. So much food. And a lot of it bad for you. Soda. Cookies. Crackers. Candy. Ice cream. All of the things that I very consciously removed from our household, and from our eating habits are back. My mother's attitude is that my grandmother is a grown up woman, and can have what she wants, and should have what she wants, but it's wreaking havoc with my eating habits. I have healthy stuff in the house too, plenty of it and I know I should have more willpower, but it's a lot easier when it's just not around. Help? Please?

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Monday, January 15th, 2007
2:13 pm - Quick AND Healthy Breakfast?

r_a_l_i_g_h
Last week I posted about breakfast in my personal journal, and, based on the response, that's something that everybody thinks about a lot.

So, I thought I'd bring up the topic over here as well. I'm going to post a short article (three guesses where it's from - rhymes with Park See Pull) with some different suggestions, and then ask you guys to add some ideas, too.

Eat Right, Even When There's No Time

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 937 times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Why?

You just spent eight hours with no food or water. You’re dehydrated, your blood sugar is low and you have little energy. And now it’s time to hurry the kids off to school before the eight-hour workday. More so than any other point in the day, you need nourishment. Right now.

Besides, eating breakfast actually helps you lose weight. Those who skip the meal tend to snack before lunch and throughout the day, usually on unhealthy, high-calorie foods. Breakfast eaters typically cruise until lunch, while beaming with energy.

So what are some unhealthy breakfast ideas? Scratch that – healthy and quick ideas? Here are some of our favorites:

· Prepare a casserole the night before. Pop it in the microwave when you wake up and it will be ready to go when you are.
· Incorporate complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat toast and bagels. Spread peanut butter and raisins on top of either for added flavor.
· Bake bran muffins early in the week, then grab one or two each morning. Or check out a local bakery for healthy varieties.
· Make waffles Sunday morning and freeze the leftovers. You can pop ‘em in the toaster for a homemade breakfast. Also, grocery stores sell frozen whole grain selections.
· Have you ever tried a tortilla for breakfast? Wrap up cold turkey and cheese, grab an apple and you’re on your way.
· Don’t forget cold cereal. We’re not talking about those covered with sugar, but the healthy variety. Items such as Wheaties and Cheerios are always good choices.
· Do you love eggs, but have high cholesterol or worry about their saturated fat? Cut out a lot of the “bad” stuff, while still getting a dose of protein, by only using the egg white.
· Make a shake or a smoothie. Blend fruit and yogurt and then drink it in the car. A side option is a small bag of finger foods, such as a mixture of granola and grapes.

I'll also add, again, the idea of eating non "breakfast foods" to your morning-meal options. A baked potato, or bean burrito is going to fill you up GOOD and is full of fiber and complex carbohydrates to sustain you through the morning.

So, what do YOU do?

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Monday, January 1st, 2007
7:15 pm - New Year - New YOU!

r_a_l_i_g_h
Happy 2007 Everyone!

I know fitness/weight loss goals are the ultimate in New Year's Resolution cliches, but that's exactly what I'm going to be talking about.

Except, it's NOT a new thing for me - or any of you either. In fact, in (*counts on fingers*) three months and three days it will be a two-year commitment of mine to the future health and fitness.

A permanent commitment.

One I am resolved I will never truly abandon for the rest of my life.

This is not really a New Year's resolution, although I have chosen this date as a kickoff point for my renewed (yet again!) focus. I'd like to recognize my second anniversary of this commitment with some significant process.

Sooooooo - here I am again!

And y'all will be hearing LOTS from me, like it or not!

I think it is no coincidence that my own personal success and commitment to my fitness goals corrolates with the highest levels of activity in this community.

Therefore, I AM making a New Year's resolution to regularly post and share in this community, for my own sake if nothing else.

Who's with me?

current mood: determined

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