Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finding time to exercise

Someone asked me how I find time to exercise since I have 3 kids.  Yes, I have 3 girls, I homeschool the oldest girl with a not quite 2 year old at home, and find time to exercise.

The best time for me to exercise is when my littlest one goes down for her afternoon nap.  Most often, I try to exercise as soon as she goes down or within the hour.  I just got my Slim in 6, so I'll be doing that then.  This means that you'd have to do some kind of exercise DVD/tape.  I know this doesn't always sound thrilling, but sometimes you've got to do, what you've got to do.  And what do my older girls do?  Sometimes the oldest reads and the middle kiddo looks at her books.  Sometimes they jump on the trampoline.  Sometimes they play on their handheld game systems.  And yes, sometimes they're picking at each other something fierce.

The other option is waiting for my hubby to be home.  If I really wanted to do something else, if I tell my hubby ahead, he'd let me go to my aerobics class at the health center.  I also take my walks when he's home.  I appreciate the fact that he knows how much I need my exercise, especially on a day where things seem so crazy!  I really enjoy having time alone, so the times I get to go for a walk are definitely cherished.

But Kati, I am never alone or I never have my hubby/significant other at home or my children never nap, what do I do now?  Little ones that can't walk/ride a bike or scooter...throw them in a stroller and hit the pavement.  If the weather is yucky, then have an indoor dance party with the kids for a half an hour.  Think of it as a time when the kids can get some exercise when their momma/dad does.

As I said in my last post, I was able to use the hotel fitness center for my exercise.  While my parents have been here, it's been more of a marathon of doing school work with the oldest, shopping, making meals, etc.  There hasn't been much in the way of regular exercise.  This makes me sad, but I'll be back into a groove within the next couple of days.  I apparently don't how to balance time with my parents *whom I don't see very often* with that of exercise.

So all of that to say, you can find time to get moving, it just takes some tweaking.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Surviving a trip while trying to eat healthy!

It can be done people.  It can be done!!  I just survived 6 days of a 'celebration' and remained OP *on plan*!  It was hard and frustrating, but deeply satisfying knowing that I was making the best choices that I could.

Tuesday was our travel day.  I packed protein bars to help with breakfasts and while they weren't terribly good on the carb count, they were packed with protein.  I had one of those for breakfast and lunch that day *I couldn't bring myself to pay the prices for something on the plane.*  When we arrived at the hotel, we were on our own for dinner that night.  I was thankful that the food court at the hotel had fresh salads, so I snagged the chef salad *picking some of the meat and cheese off* and scored a light ranch dressing.

Wednesday, they served a brunch, but it wasn't scheduled to be served until 10:30.  So, I had another bar.  At the brunch, I chose scrambled 'eggs', fresh fruit, and topped my eggs with some fresh *didn't look bottled* salsa.  We had our free time and we then went to our session at 4:30, but rather than have a session, they took all 4,000+ of us to Sea World *SURPRISE*!!  Talk about amazing *and almost dreamlike.*  They had different kinds of buffets set up all over Sea World for a variety of taste pallets.  I ended up with some BBQ chicken, 1/4c to 1/2c of potato salad, some fresh fruit, and a salad *dipping my fork in the dressing because they didn't have any light dressings.*  I opted out of dessert.

Thursday, we were on our own for breakfast.  I had a latte and a bar for breakfast.  Lunch was salad *yippee* and a couple of different choices of meat *I chose chicken*.  They also had rice, but I didn't have any of that.  I mainly had the salad.  Dinner that night was *like* a typical camp meal:  Asian noodles *just veggies or veggies and chicken*, chicken bratwurst *with HUGE rolls*, pizza, hummus with pita bread or breadsticks, mini apple pies and brownies for dessert.  What I snagged from that:  noodles with veggies, one bratwurst *no roll*, some hummus with a few pita wedges, 1 breadstick, and a mini apple pie.  Can you say, "Carb overload??"  There wasn't a single vegetable there that night!!

My remaining breakfasts *Friday/Saturday/Sunday* were all a skinny latte, my protein bar, and a banana.  Friday's lunch was in Epcot.  I ended up with a Caesar salad *I could feel my arteries clogging...ha!*  I grabbed a 'side' salad that night with light ranch for dinner.  It had a mess of fresh veggies on it and it was pretty tasty.  Lunch on Saturday was a bag lunch.  My choices were:  turkey sandwich on a HUGE roll, chicken salad wrap, sun chips, potato chips, pretzels, apple/banana, and a cookie.  My choice:  chicken salad wrap, sun chips, an apple, and a cookie for a treat.  The chips ended up being a snack later in the day.  Our dinner Saturday, was a sit down meal.  We were served a salad *yippee*, our main entree was a small *probably 2oz piece* of fish, a 2-3oz piece of beef something or other, about 1/4c of mashed potatoes, and some cooked rainbow carrots *yum!*  I had the mousse that was there for dessert, but wished that I hadn't after I found out how many points it was!!  Yikes!!

Yesterday, I found a place that made a salad at the airport.  Pricey, but worth every penny to me.  I had it made with mixed greens, onion, black olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and chicken.  It was served with a whole wheat roll and I snagged some fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  Dinner?  Was another bar.

While I did okay, I felt like our provided meals were lacking in the vegetable department.  My body didn't like being 'deprived' of veggies.

Regardless of the lack of veggies, I did get plenty of exercise in.  Hubby and I took the stairs *98% of the time.  There were a couple of nights where I was just plain tired.*  Our room was on the 8th floor *I was never so thankful to NOT be on the 16th floor!*  And I didn't really start to get winded until the 6th floor.  I also went to the fitness center 3 times while we were there.  Our room was about 10 minutes from the ballroom where our seminars took place *Yes...in the same hotel!  Crazy, no?*  I also counted all of the walking we did at Sea World, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.

The trip was wonderful and relaxing.  I loved seeing folks that I haven't seen in 4 years.  This was a valuable lesson to me.  I know now that I can manage no matter the circumstances.  It just takes a little planning, some perseverance, and some will power.  Anything is possible!  Keep at it everyone and I know that you will succeed!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm out!

I am actually drafting a post right now, but don't have the brain power to finish it.  I haven't forgotten about all of you, but things are starting to get a bit crazy around here.

1) My parents are coming in tomorrow.
2)  We're celebrating our oldest kiddo's birthday on Saturday.
3)  I have a million and one things to do for point #1 and #2.
4)  Hubby and I leave on Tuesday to spend some quality time together...thus the reason for #1.

I may finish up my drafted post for tomorrow, but no holding your breath...you might turn blue.

Also...I may not be able to blog until after we get back.

Stay strong while I'm gone!  I'm planning to count, count, and count some more while we're gone, even if it means sitting in the hotel lobby and logging points.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Breaking a plateau

First, let me say that I went to the doctor's for the first time since this past March *and got weighed.*  That was the most exciting part of the visit.  Ha!  I was hoping for a "Way to go!  That's incredible!  Keep it up!"  Instead, I got nothin'.  Eh, I'll give myself a pat on the back.  I lost 66 pounds from the last time they saw me.  That would be 6.6 pounds per month.  I'll take it!  The doctor also had this little tidbit to share, "Think before you eat."  I'm working on it, especially during a particular time every month *if you know where I'm going with this one.*

I'm glad that I went to the doctor today because I have felt like I've been sitting in a bit of a plateau.  I've lost weight, but I don't consider a .3 and .4 loss consecutively to be great losses.  I always say, "A loss is a loss", but it gets old after a couple of weeks.  There have been times where I've gone a month without budging *not on this journey, but on my last go around of weight loss.*  It's not easy.  Especially when you know you've been doing everything by the book.  Weighing and measuring your food, tracking every last bite, exercising, drinking lots of water...the works!  I am in no way a doctor, but I'll share with you some things that have worked for me.

  1. Be sure you are doing all of those things.  I know being particular is probably the last thing on your mind, but if you're not being particular in the weighing/measuring of your food, your portions can start to creep up.
  2. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water.  I've been told that you should be drinking half of your body weight in water.  Crazy, right?  Right now I should be drinking 12 glasses a day!  Sheesh!
  3. Use a twist of lemon in your water.
  4. If you are stuck in a food rut, try switching things up a bit.  Sometimes our body gets used to a particular food cycle.
  5. Switch up your exercise routine.
  6. Do some high calorie days with some lower calorie days mixed in.  I have done the Wendie Plan and it helps to shake things up a bit.  You can find info on it here *Weight Watchers folks*:  Wendie Plan  For me right now, I have 31 daily P+ and my schedule would be something like this (Sun: 46-51; Mon 31; Tue 35-36; Wed 33; Thur 31; Fri 36-38 & Sat 32).
  7. Put the scale away and don't weigh yourself until your designated weigh in day.
  8. You're staying under your calorie goal, but are you sure you're eating enough?  I know on MFP that your exercise calories are added to your total amount allowed for the day.  Some people say they can't lose if they use their exercise calories/points, but some may need to at least eat some of them.
So, that's what I've got.  I'm not sure if I've helped at all or not.  The last thing you want to do is give up.  So...don't!  If you continue to plateau even after a couple of months, I'd put a call in to my doctor if I were you.  They might be able to give you some insight on an allergy or health issue that may be standing in your way.  Hang in there!  If there is no one else there for you...I am!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mommy on the edge!

Warning...for this is a vent on my day, but there is a reason for me posting about this.  So...hang on and bear with me.

Today has been highly stressful, highly frustrating, and in some ways disappointing.  My children have been acting like something straight out of a chaotic barn *not so much the shortest one, but the older two.*  They enjoy rough housing and then usually the middle kid gets 'hurt' and starts in to the crying.

I got all of my things ready to go shopping.  On Saturday, I had received this tremendous gift:

So hubby told me I could go today to spend it.  By the way, there was a gift card to Old Navy taped on the inside.  I am so thankful for the gift!  It was truly a blessing.  I gathered my card, with gift card attached, and my coupons as there were a few items that I wanted to pick up at the grocery store while I was there *since we have company coming in this week.*

*I know you are probably wondering where I am going with this, so bear with me.* 

I scored at WalMart *after a little looking to find the cheap snack I wanted for the girls.* 

I was giddy to get to Old Navy.  I shopped some of the clearance as I wanted to try and get as much out of my precious gift card as possible.  I even had an associate set up a fitting 'room' just for me!!  That made me feel pretty special.  I actually added things up and had a 25% off coupon if I spent over $100.  I got to the checkout and the gal rang it up...$107...woohoo....only $7 out of my pocket.  Before I go on, please do not think I am ungrateful or mad at anyone, okay?  I guess I was disappointed as when they put the gift card through, it was only for $50.  Again...$50 was more than I had before and I still came home with new clothes and I am still super excited about them, I just needed to make a decision on what things I didn't need.

This is what I did come home with:

Off then to Fry's.  Since I'm using coupons, I should have known that with such smokin' deals I'd be out of luck, but it was worth a try.  I was blown away by the fact that there was not one salad dressing in the kind I was looking for.  Again, company coming, so I opted for something else.  Off to the cookies...out.  I headed to the checkout, grabbed a Coke Zero *but SO wanted a big gooey chocolatey something or other*, got my 2 rain checks, and walked out to the car.

As I drove home, all I could think about was how ungrateful I seem.  Maybe petty? 

Upon arriving home, my hubby had cooked dinner for the girls *thank you honey...it truly is appreciated.*  I asked if there was any left and he said, "yes."  Upon further investigation, the noodles were smothered tossed in olive oil.  I apologized to him, but told him I wouldn't be able to eat it *he seemed angry and I couldn't do anything more than apologize.* 

The girls were still acting unruly and momma was fried!  Here comes the good part....all I want to do it EAT!  *I told you I'd get to the real point at hand.*

Have you ever had a day where everything just seems to burn your butt and make you mad?  And then, all you want to do is eat?  Yep...I'm there...RIGHT NOW.  Thankfully, I'm blogging and I'm getting it off my heart.  I am sad for feeling the way I do about everything.  And, if I had points leftover for the day, you bet I'd be eating something with them!  Alas, I am out of daily points *or calories* and I'm not eating another thing more *well...maybe an apple, but those are zero points*.  And water.  That's it.

I also need to think, "Am I truly hungry?  Or do I just want to eat because I've had a hard day?" 

I'm sharing this with you all because I know that many of you can relate.  I also want you to know...yeah, I struggle with that too.  Hang in there!  I'm with ya!  Have a glass of water and an apple, and call me in the morning. ;)  Also...learning these things are all a huge part of this journey.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Music to get you moving

So, some of you may think I'm some kind of goodie, goodie...only listening to praise music or the like.  Sadly, this is far from the truth.  Like I told you on my post entitled "Get Your Move On", I need my tunes to get me to walk.  It has to have a beat quick enough to get my heart rate up.  It has been an 'odd' cool day here *it's been unseasonably warm here lately.*  So I 'bundled' up, put on my new scarf, and a pair of gloves and off I went.

This is an after shot, and although I don't look sweaty, I really was.

Back to the matter at hand.  Music.

I am going to list what I've got on my ipod.  There are some that I skip past because they're either too slow for me now or I'm not in the mood for that particular song.  Sometimes, it's a bit too fast.  I will warn you that some of the songs on my ipod are what some would consider unsavory.  You can boo me, block me, whatever, but it is what it is.  Also...no laughing at some of my 'older' one or my odd taste. 

With or Without You--U2
Bad Romance--Lady GaGa
Twist and Shout--The Beatles
Boom Boom Pow--The Black Eyed Peas
Jump--Van Halen
Hey, Soul Sister--Train
Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond
Blue (Da Ba Dee)--Eiffel 65
Dreams--The Cranberries
Viva la Vida--Coldplay
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da--The Beatles
Don't Stop Believin'--Journey
Y.M.C.A--Village People
Hot N Cold--Katy Perry
Poker Face--Lady GaGa
Pump Up the Jam--Technotronic
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)--Dead or Alive
Buddy Holly-Weezer
Why Can't This Be Love--Van Halen
Don't Bring Me Down--ELO
Dental Care--Owl City
Dance Tonight--Paul McCartney
Sweet City Woman--The Stampeders
Glad All Over--The Dave Clark Five

I like my mix.  It's been quite a while since I've changed it.  When I'll change it, I don't know because I truly enjoy it!

I felt so good today on my walk, then I went longer than I had planned.  It looks as though I got 1/2 a mile more than I'd planned.  I walked 3.75 miles in 54:59 *maybe a little less since I stopped to tighten my shoelace once.*  That was an average of 14:38 per mile and a speed of 4.1 m/hr.  That is REALLY good for me!

What keeps you moving?  What's on your ipod *or music player...tape player...CD player*?  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why make bread?

So a friend of mine asked the following questions *in regards to making bread*:

  • How does a breadmaker work?
  • What kinds of bread can you make?
  • Why would one want to make bread vs buying it?
After she asked these questions, another friend said:
  • I use my stand mixer with the bread hook.  Is there an advantage to the bread machine?
I'm going to start with the last question *in the first set*.  Why would one want to make bread vs buying it?  First, it's cheaper.  Yes, you can buy bread for 99¢ a loaf, but it doesn't taste very good.  It is also *most likely* made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  My middle kiddo is sensitive to HFCS.  She goes over the deep end acts out of sorts and is very hyper.  You'd be amazed at how many things have HFCS in them.  Also, the bread that doesn't have HFCS in it, costs a lot more *unless you can get it on sale.*  So another reason to make it...I know exactly what's going into it.  There aren't a bunch of preservatives and unnecessary ingredients in it.  Sadly, my hubby only likes my homemade bread for toasting.  He likes the store bought stuff for sandwiches, but since I started getting the Bountiful Basket, I can get 5 loaves of Organic 9 Grain bread for $12 *cheaper than store bought.*  He likes that. :)

How does a breadmaker work?  Most breadmakers have different settings on them.  Mine has:  white, wheat, sweet, 2 express cycles *one makes bread in 58 minutes and the other in 90*, french, dough, and a bake mode.  I've pretty much used all of the cycles on there.  "Oh shucks!  I don't have time to fiddle with making bread right now and I *need* bread for lunch!"  I can throw all of the ingredients in the pan and set it for the express bake 58 minute cycle.  That's basically all you do.  Measure ingredients exactly *room temperature for the regular cycles*, add them to bread pan starting with liquid, dry ingredients next, and after making a 'well' in the top of your flour, you add the yeast.  I use the dough cycle to make our pizza dough.  I *have* made jam in there, but not in a l-o-n-g time.

What kinds of bread can you make?  You can sort of get an idea based on the settings.  I've made cinnamon raisin bread which is evil wonderful.  I don't make it very often because it's that evil good.  In a pinch *the express bake*, I make white.  I made my Kamut bread in there last night.  I also make a multigrain bread in there, but I'm currently out of the cereal that I need to make it.  A lot of times when you get a breadmaker, it comes with recipes.  You can also google "bread recipes for breadmakers".  Just be sure you have a recipe that won't overflow your maker.

Now I'll address the last question.  I use my stand mixer with the bread hook.  Is there an advantage to the bread machine?  I did state one advantage.  The ability to throw the ingredients in the pan, walk away and have fresh bread in 58 minutes!  This could be considered dangerous by some, but if you're making it for sandwiches, you need to resist!!  With my oldest home for the entire week *she's enrolled in a virtual academy* and my littlest one also here, I need bread on hand for lunches.  I still make some bread by hand, in particular, the 4 Grain Batter Bread, but when time is limited, then I go for the breadmaker.

Overall, the breadmaker has been one of my most used 'appliances' that I received as a shower gift 10 years ago *aside from my microwave*.  If you want to have healthier bread, but life is too busy to lend you time to stand and do all of the steps necessary to do it by hand, then this is ideal.

When asked which bread they prefer, my oldest 2 said they prefer the bread that momma makes.  The littlest is too small to give an informed opinion.   How can I not make bread when they both enjoy it so much?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kamut Flour...the test!

I used up my bread *finally* and decided to try a new recipe.  It was another low carb recipe.  I don't really understand why most low carb bread recipes call for eggs.  Anyone?  Whatever.  Moving on.  I tried it and while it turned out 'okay' it wasn't wow material.  I'll eat it because I made it.  It was also most like 'regular' bread, but still just not right.

So, I decided to turn around and make another loaf of bread, but this time, just a whole wheat recipe in my breadmaker, substituting the Kamut flour for the wheat.  I used exact ingredients which is a change because I usually have to alter some things due to our altitude.  I always check the dough during the first kneeding cycle to be sure everything gets mixed together.  The dough was perfect!  I love it when things turn out nicey, nicey.  Now, I just had to wait for it to finish.



Waiting.  Three hours is a long time.

When I got ready to pull it out of the breadmaker, it was rather short *from top to bottom of the loaf*.  This leads me to believe that it is a heavier grain flour *if that even sounds right.*  I sliced the heel off *because I like that part and I just wanted a taste.*  It is y-u-m-m-y!  It does have a sweet taste to it, but not sweet like a sweet bread (banana/zucchini bread).  It is a 'light' sweet.

I think my girls might take me out for a slice of it.  I might even have to hide it.  There will be smacking of hands if anyone touches it!

My suggestions?  If you're able to get something that's just for you, this is amazing.  If you are planning to use this for the whole family, it could get a little pricey.  If you did a subscribe & save through amazon, it would be about $2/pound.  Yeah, ouch.

If this isn't for you, then I say stick to whole wheat.  I wish I could share a little taste with all of you so that you could get a true idea of what it's like.

Maybe, I could do a little 'giveaway' of one of my fresh baked goodies.  What do you all think??

***ETA:  This ends up being 2P+ for 1 slice and 5P+ for 2.  Yikes!  Also, as I was putting the recipe into the recipe builder, I noticed that I didn't put the last 2/3c of flour in.  Duh!  No wonder why the dough was so nice and a bit 'short.'  I may or may not try to add the last 2/3c in the next batch.  After putting it into MFP, it looks as though it would be 90 calories per slice.

Cooking Challenged

Do you remember yesterday when I talked about being one of those people *not* allowed to be in the kitchen because you might light it on fire have an accident?  **If you don't, you can find it here.**  I feel bad that you are cooking challenged and I hope that I might be able to lend just a few ideas to you.  Also realize, that some of my ideas might be a little more costly than making a lot of things from scratch.  They also may not be very low in sodium either.

There are a lot of 'convenience' items.  There is canned chicken: 98% fat free, packed in water.  From this you could make quesadillas.  You'll need some frozen peppers and onion mix, some Mexican cheese, some fat free salsa, and some light sour cream.  I like my veggies more soft, so I'd cook them in the microwave; heat the chicken *also in the micro...maybe 15 seconds at most*; put your tortilla in a quesadilla maker, put your toppings on *veggies, chicken and cheese*, put your other tortilla on and away you go!  Use sour cream and salsa for dipping.

Salads are an easy meal.  You could even use the chicken that I mentioned above.  Or, if you enjoy seafood, you could use imitation crab or canned shrimp/tuna.  I will often use Oscar Mayer turkey breast on my salads for lunch.  They do have lettuce mixes in a bag, so throw some in a bowl *don't literally throw it in a bowl or you'll have it EVERYwhere*.  Then you can top with your 'meat', other veggies cut up *tomato, cucumber, onion, etc*, some cheese, and maybe some nuts/croutons and you'll be good to go!  Don't forget your dressing.

And maybe crockpot meals would be easy for you.  Set it up on the counter, throw your ingredients in and walk away!  Seriously.  I bought a large boneless pork loin at Sam's this week.  I cut it into roasts and have marinated each one in a freezer bag.  *Three of them got thrown in the freezer, the other I cooked this week.*  Wash and scrub some potatoes, cut them into quarters, and line the bottom of the crockpot with them.  Add your pork roast *fat side up* on top of the potatoes.  You can also add in cut up carrots, celery, peas, etc.  It's up to you!  Set that baby on low for the day and walk away!  I usually put the roast in and dump the marinade in with it.  If you don't marinade it, you could use the leftovers for BBQ pulled pork.

Soup is another easy meal.  Again, you could use the crockpot to fix this one.  Buy some low sodium chicken/beef/vegetable broth, dump in a small package of frozen mixed vegetables *any mixed veggies depending on taste*, and you can add brown rice to it as well *amount would depend on how much broth you used.*  I've at times added to all of that a 14.25oz can *or two* of diced tomatoes.  They can be the Italian style if that's what you like.  The possibilities can be endless with soup as you can opt out of the rice and use beans *kidney, black, great northerns, etc*.

As for the crockpot, you could probably even use it with the canned/precooked chicken to make a chili.  While I have not tried this, it certainly is possible.

Another option could be using a George Foreman Grill.  They are pretty easy to use and you can cook quite a bit on there.  We've cooked our Hebrew National dogs on there.  I've also done pork chops, chicken breasts, and steak.  All you'd really need to go with your meat would be a veggie and a carb of some sort.  I'd pair the meat with a salad and maybe a slice of bread *or if you're not microwave challenged, you could bake a potato in there.*

These are just a few of my ideas.  I'd also google crockpot recipes or keep an eye out for a good magazine that holds healthy crockpot recipes.  They are bound to be out there, it's just a matter of keeping your eyes peeled.  I will keep an eye out for something that might be of use to you all while I'm in and out of the grocery stores.

If you have other ideas, don't hesitate to share.  I am in no way an expert on being cooking challenged.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Healthy food doesn't need to taste like garbage!

I think a lot people believe that in order to eat healthy, that the food has to taste bland or *like I posted about yesterday* it needs to taste like cardboard.  This is far from the truth!  In that this journey has been off and on since my hubby and I got married 10 years ago, he can attest to my ability to make healthy food, taste good. :)  He will also admit that his mother was never much of a cook, so he's been pretty satisfied in the food department.

If you are satisfied with your current menu, then you can move on.  If you're not, find yourself some good cookbooks!  I'm serious.  You can also pick up some magazines.  More on that in a minute.  I can't tell you how many cookbooks I have, but it's more than 10.  Some are 'regular' cookbooks, while others are considered low-fat/healthy eating cookbooks.  I keep several on the front of my shelf, ones that I go to A LOT, and there are more on the back part of the shelf that I reach for a lot less often.  I have three Weight Watchers Annual Recipes cookbooks, Crazy Plates *a low fat cookbook*, my 'go to' Betty Crocker cookbook, a crockpot cookbook put out by Weight Watchers, and another one called "Comfort Food Diet Cookbook" *this one is put out by Taste of Home.*  I love me a good cookbook.

This is the inside of my cupboard:

Back to magazines.  There for a while *even when I wasn't watching what I ate* I was receiving the Weight Watchers magazine *a birthday gift from my mom and dad.*  I didn't always see a recipe that popped out to me, but once in a while I did.  So I saved the magazine.  **Note...don't do this!!  You end up with a bunch of magazines that your hubby is waiting for you to do something with!!**  After hounding from hubby, I went back through the magazines and pulled the recipes out that I wanted to keep.  Then they just hung out in my cupboard with the cookbooks.  Also not such a great idea.  I just bought a 3 ring binder, some clear plastic sleeves, and some dividers.  I now have my own 'cookbook' of recipes that I've pulled out of magazines, but they are neatly organized now.  My hubby is very happy.

Another great tool...google *or some other related search engine.*  If I'm looking for something in particular to make, then I'll search for it.  Example...I wanted a low carb bread recipe.  I wanted it for me, not for hubby or the girls, but for me.  The two recipes I've tried have turned out a 'spongy' like bread that isn't quite what I had in mind.  I'm still on the hunt.  The worst thing that can happen when you try a recipe is that you won't like it.  Make note that you didn't like it and move on.  I generally look over the ingredients and make a decision based on ingredients whether my family will like it or not.  It hasn't proven me wrong.

What if you don't like some of the ingredients?  It depends on what the ingredients are, but often if it's something I don't like *or my family doesn't like* I will eliminate it if I can.  If I can't completely eliminate it, I will decrease the amount that is present.  I like to fiddle with recipes and tweak them to suit my needs.  I've recently used chia seeds to cut the fat in some of my baking.  I love that my family doesn't always notice a difference.  The girls never do.  Hubby?  Once in a while.  He mainly notices when I've used a sugar derivative.

Another motto of mine is if I have to buy a whole bunch of ingredients that I don't normally have on hand, it's probably not a recipe that I want to make.  I want to be able to make meals that can be made from the things currently in my kitchen.  There are some spices that can be mixed *like Italian seasoning or Greek seasoning* you just need to google that too.   By the way...I have A LOT of different seasonings.  These are what make your food not taste like healthy food.

After scouring cookbooks, websites, etc and finding recipes that suit your needs, cook it up!  If you get a thumbs up from 95% of your family, then you can log it away as a 'keeper' *this is what my hubby calls the recipes that I try that he thinks ROCK*.  I'll often put those recipes into rotation for the month or put it away for the next month *or whenever*.  If I didn't try new recipes, my girls would be happy as clams if I gave them nothing but pasta every day.  And, while I love pasta too, I just can't eat it every night.  If one of my children decides that they're "not hungry" or that they don't like it, it's tough luck for them.  Yes, I'm one of those terrible parents that make their kids wait until breakfast the next morning before they get another meal.  It's usually my middle kiddo *who really is so skinny anyway even with the amount of food she eats in a day-she turned her nose up at my stir fry last night.*

Maybe you're thinking, "But Kati, I can't cook.  I'm not even allowed to step foot in the kitchen or I'll set it on fire!"  I'll get to you in another post.  Promise.

Go find some new recipes.  Try 'em out and let me know what you liked.  I'm always on the hunt for a new recipe to try and switch things up a bit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reduced fat, low fat, fat free?

In another time *and another state* I was battling the fat on another weight loss program.  That one was called LA Weightloss.  While I think some of the principals were good, I think going fat free on cheese, etc wasn't necessarily the best *or tastiest* option.  Have you ever tried fat free shredded cheese?  It's kind of bland.  There isn't much taste to it and some have even equated it to the likes of cardboard.  *By the way...what does cardboard taste like anyway??*  I think the same applies to fat free cottage cheese *unless you're using it in something.*

Some people would say that you should forget the low fat/reduced fat stuff all together and go straight for the real deal *just in a smaller amount/or plan for the full amount, count it and move on.*  I know there are some doctor's that will also suggest this.  Right now, for me, it's about how it will affect me in my journey.  My personal preference is to have reduced fat *2% shredded cheese.*  I've done the fat free and I won't go back!  I've also had other people say that the reduced fat cheese also tastes like cardboard.  Again...preference.  In a pinch *or if I'm making quiche* I'll use the full fat version.

So reduced fat, low fat, etc...what does it all really mean?  I found this bit of info on the subject matter: 

  • Low fat means 3 grams of fat or less per serving (or per 100 grams of food)
  • Reduced fat means the food product contains 50% (or less) of the fat found in the regular version
  • Less fat means 25% or less fat than the comparison food
  • Fat free means the product has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil
Good to know, right?  It is helpful for me.  They also talk about salty labels, sweet labels, and the dilemma between low/light *lite*/lean/reduced.  You can find this info on the Social Dieter

Make the choice that works best for you.  Food is food...provided that you're counting it and being accountable *even to yourself.*

Someone has silenced me!

Just a quick post this morning.  I'll post something new later, but I needed to say that I have been silenced!  I was sharing my posts on facebook after I had published them here.  You know...that little 'share' link at the bottom of each post?  Yeah that.  So someone apparently went next to my post in their 'feed' and clicked that it was 'spam'.  Seriously?  You couldn't just block me?  You had to block my ability to share my journey with other people? 

I have felt so good to share this with others and that others have found it to be uplifting.  Now, I feel deflated.  I'm NOT giving up though.  So don't expect me to fade off into the sunset.

I have a purpose and I feel like this is part of it!  Never give up!!  In all of your pursuits...don't give in, especially when you feel like it's something you were meant to do!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Am I truly hungry?

One of the things I read about this past week was about recognizing hunger signals.  I wonder as a society if we have totally lost this ability or what the deal is.  I think I've lost that ability myself.  Truly.  I feel like I am on my kids schedule.  When they want to eat, I figure that I should eat too because, well, I'm already fixing it.  And, why make a mess twice?  I think sometimes I'm run by the clock too.  "Oh look!  It's _____ o'clock.  It's time to have breakfast."  It's also not just about feeling hunger, but it's also learning about when one feels full or satisfied.

The one typical way to sense hunger is when your stomach growls or you feel hunger pangs.  Think back through your day.  Before you sat down with a meal, had you started to feel hungry?  My other thought was, should someone who is dealing with diabetes really wait for hunger signals?  Or would that be a detriment?  So, I looked that up.  According to a website that I visited, they call this 'paying attention' to your hunger cues as "intuitive eating."  This is what they have to say about intuitive eating, "The first step in becoming an intuitive eater is to shift away from external rules about when you should eat and to learn to listen to your body’s internal cues. We were all born with the ability to know when we are physically hungry, and you can reconnect with this natural signal.

To identify your physical hunger, pay attention to signals such as an empty or gnawing feeling in your stomach, a feeling of low energy or lethargy, a headache, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or persistent thoughts of food.

Each person experiences hunger a little differently, and your job is to learn what hunger feels like to you."

They also have this to say:  "You’ll find that responding to true hunger is one way to put the pleasure back in eating; food actually tastes better when you are hungry. To ensure that you can eat what you want when you are hungry, it’s a good strategy to always carry a bag of food with you that includes a wide range of options.

If you find that you are frequently turning to food before you are physically hungry, ask yourself, “Can I wait?” Remind yourself that as soon as you are hungry, you will eat. The more you practice listening to your body’s signals and responding to them, the less you will feel the drive to eat when you’re not really hungry. However, if you continue to turn to food for emotional reasons in spite of this work, consider doing some further reading or seeking counseling to learn how to manage your feelings without reaching for food."  This article can be found on the Diabetes Self Management website.

There is also another article called "Healthy Eating: Recognizing Your Hunger Signals."  That can be found on iVillage.

With all of that said, today I've made a true effort to rediscover my hunger signals.  It is a work in progress, but I've found myself stopping several times and truly asking myself if I'm really hungry or maybe just thirsty.  Many a time, I ended up with a glass of water instead of something to eat.

Do you know when your body is hungry?  Are you stuck by the clock *maybe you have to be*?  Find some time to reconnect with your body so that you can 'remember' what your signals are.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's ordering day!!!

Yippee!!  It's been a month since we got our last Bountiful Basket.  Oh how I've missed it!  What is Bountiful Basket?  It is a food co-op and depending on where you live, you have the ability to buy fresh produce at least once every other week.  If you're lucky, you might live somewhere where there is a site for both A and B weeks.  Alas, we are not that lucky.  In an effort to meet one of my goals for the New Year, this will be part of it.  You pay $15 for 2 baskets that will include 50% fresh fruit and 50% fresh veggies.  You also have the ability to buy organic bread, made with all organic ingredients as well as some other fantastic options.

This is what our last basket looked like when I got it home.  That night we had corn on the cob, butter potatoes, and our Hebrew National hot dogs.  Yum!  What a treat for December!  I can't wait to see what we get in our basket this week!  There was easily 4 pounds of grapes there.  I used a lot of the veggies in my lentil chili.  So basically...all of this...
...for $15. 

If you'd like to learn more about it, you can go directly to the Bountiful Baskets website.  Sadly, this isn't available in all states, but you can look to see if there is something near you.  You might even be able to search for food co-ops in your area, if there isn't a BB near you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kamut Flour

So you heard me talking about Kamut flour.  When I plugged it into Weight Watchers, it is logging in much like whole wheat flour would.  That stinks!  Then I began second guessing myself as to why I spent a bit more money on flour that would 'act' much like whole wheat flour that I can buy in the store.

So, I have done a little research.  You can find great info about it on the Kamut Brand site.  It is apparently good for helping produce energy.  It is considered a "high energy wheat" and a "valuable addition to your diet."  Hmm...time will tell.  The test will be ON!  Here is more information from Montana Flour & Grains

Out of the sites that I checked out, the Versagrain was the best.  They talked about what it tastes like, has an interesting 'back' story on Kamut flour, and also has a couple of recipes!  Bonus!  I know that I can substitute the Kamut flour for wheat in whatever I bake, but I'm still curious.  I'm just about out of the last batch of low carb bread that I made.  Then I'll be giving it whirl!

If all goes well, I'll post about the differences.  I find myself kind of nerdy to be giddy about flour.

Can I change...

...my molecular structure?  Or maybe become one of those 'unbreakable' girls?  You know, the one that can handle just about anything?  I want to be the girl who instead of being overcome with grief and running to food, curls up on the couch and doesn't feel like eating.  Sadly, I am not.  And, I don't think I ever will be.

This time of year just stinks.  1) Hubby and I have two girls with birthdays 1 week apart *so there's plenty of cake flying around this house.*  2) Both of my grandfathers passed away within 12 days of each other starting 5 years ago today.  Papa G passed today and 9 days after giving birth to our second beautiful girl, my other grandfather passed.  It still stings like it was yesterday.  It's not so much about the birthdays as it is about the raw hurt.  I'm sure many people can say that their grandparents are a beautiful part of their lives, but there is simply something special about mine, especially my mom's parents.  I'm naturally closer with her parents.

So what is my first instinct?  FOOD!  Comfort stuff.  Carbs and chocolate in particular.

I'm trying to go against the grain today.  I'm blogging.  That 1) keeps my hands busy, 2) keeps my mind busy, and 3) also keeps me out of the kitchen!  The next steps will be to get my body moving and do some cleaning up around the house.  I will conquer the food blues!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Post Dinner Snack

I was looking for a little something that was tasty, but not terribly guilt-laden.  I've come across an interesting site/blog.  It's called "Chocolate Covered Katie-the dessert blog".  You can find it here.  With that said, I've now tried a couple of her recipes and am kind of intrigued.  I'd like to try more.

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Nut Butter.  After whipping it up, I felt like it needed just a little something.  I mean heck, her blog/site is called "Chocolate Covered"!  I thought about throwing in some chopped up semisweet chocolate chips *because I always have a big bag of those on hand.*  I tossed that thought out and remembered that I had some Smucker's Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup in the fridge.  I stirred in 2tbsp of that stuff and voila I had a tasty concoction that my family practically took me out for!

I did not put any sweetener in it since I put the chocolate in there.  I figured 3 servings at 2tbsp a piece and that works out to be 2P+ per serving.  And for those counting calories:  82 calories, 12g carbs, 4g fat, 2g protein, and 2g fiber.  I dipped an apple in it, but I bet it would be tasty *like Katie says* on toast or in oatmeal.

Marinated Mediterranean Chicken

This is what we had for dinner.

It is called Marinated Mediterranean Chicken.  You can find the recipe on the Weight Watchers site.  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and left out the capers.  Everything else was included.  My middle kiddo, who is the pickier of the older two girls, had it gone before the oldest!  Hubby says, "Oh yeah...this is a keeper." 

It was fantastic!

We will be having that again!

To carb or not to carb...that is the question!

I'll begin by saying...Hi.  My name is Kati.  And I'm a carbaholic.  Knowing that, you are probably wondering why I talk so much about carbs or why I combine carbs with protein/veggies at meals and snacks.  The reason for this is because I was 'diagnosed' as prediabetic this past March (2011).  To be honest, I couldn't figure out why this would seemingly come out of nowhere.  I never had gestational diabetes with any of the girls, but I think in at least 2 of my pregnancies, I could have easily had it.  After the diagnoses, that's when it surfaced in my family.  There is apparently a history of both Type I and Type II diabetes in my family.  Nice.

With Weight Watchers, you are basically 'allowed' to eat whatever you want and still lose the weight.  In hindsight, I never really paid much attention to how much carbohydrate I was ingesting.  If I was craving something sweet or starchy, I ate it, counted it, and moved on.  That all changed in March.

Some people think that if you eliminate carbs all together, that you'll lose weight.  This could be equated to the Atkins diet (this is low to no carbs, high fat, lots of protein).  Sadly, I've seen this backfire on some where the minute they 'fall off' the diet they gain quite a bit of their weight back.  That is a tough pill to swallow!  Too many carbs can also affect your health *as I can attest to.*

So the question becomes, to carb or not to carb?  I say, CARB!  But, with the stipulation that you choose wisely.  What do I mean by that?  Look for whole grain pasta, use brown rice instead of white, whole wheat flour *where you can--I'll let you all know how the kamut flour goes*, baked potato with the skin on, baked sweet potatoes, and the like.  Again, all things in moderation.  Also, things you probably didn't know *or at least some of you didn't know*...fruit and some vegetables are also carb-ish.  Milk is a carb (this is why I opt for the Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze).  Yogurt is a carb.  Yikes, right?  Many days I feel like yelling, "I'M SURROUNDED BY CARBS!!!!"  And...it would be true. 

Maybe you're thinking, "But carbs give me energy!"  Yes, but they also can lead to a faster crash.  There is this delicate balance between protein and carbs.  Lean protein also gives you energy.  Am I saying that if you eat nothing but carbs that it will lead to diabetes?  Not necessarily.  I just think if we don't take care of our internal organs along with the other outwardly stuff, that at some point, you *could* have a problem.  Having been 'diagnosed' prediabetic just means that I am at a greater risk of developing diabetes at some point.  In that there is a genetic trait for it, I could have been the healthiest person known to man and still develop it as I get older.  So until that point, I want to do what I can to help my pancreas out.

Refined/processed carbs = BAD!

Whole grain carbs/carbs rich in fiber = GOOD!!!

Here is a list that has good carb choices on it.  I'm sure there are other sites that list them, but this one came up and I like it!  I think we may try quinoa this month.  We've never had it before, but I've heard that it's tasty.

One last point.  Yes, I know that some of the 'good' carbs take longer to cook, but if you plan ahead, then you can be prepared for when you are going to cook it.  There are lots of yummy choices and lots of ways to cook them, so go out and experiment!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Magic Fridge

Do you have one of those in your house?  A magic fridge that is.  I do!

Preface to this.  I've been sitting here at the computer trying to find inspiration for tonight's chicken meal.  Bah!  I wanted to try something new, but since it is the end of our 'month' and before we've gone shopping, I'm out of a lot of things that would make a 'wow' dinner.  Moving on.

My hubby believes that our fridge is magic.  Off and on throughout the day *when he's home* he walks to the fridge and stands there with the door open.  I often ask him if he's expecting something to magically appear or if he's waiting for something to jump out at him.  He laughs and usually closes the door. 

How often do we do that?  Maybe it isn't just the fridge, but it might also be your pantry cupboard.  Do you stand in front of either one hoping that something really good is just sitting there waiting for you to eat it?  If you have children *or a husband like mine* you might have less than desirable foods in the house for snacks.  Are they snacks that you can leave alone or are they constantly calling your name *repeatedly, often, and sweetly*?  If they are snacks you can leave alone, GREAT!  If they're not, maybe you need to come up with some healthier snacks for you and your family.

If you've been following along for the last week or so, then you've probably already read this post.  I mentioned some great snacks there.

Here are some other things that could be good snacks, that I don't have very often, but have from time to time given to the girls.  Some of them are also things that I could take or leave.
  1. Crackers with peanut butter
  2. An apple with peanut butter
  3. Low calorie granola bars *you could also make your own--my girls love these*
  4. Crackers with cheese
  5. Carrots with some light ranch/dip (again a homemade thing here--although carrots are often not one of my favorite go to snack foods, the girls seem to love them!)
  6. Cottage cheese with a piece of fruit
  7. Raisins with a piece of cheese *if you're watching carbs, dried fruits can be wicked on the carb count front.*
  8. Air popped popcorn
Really, anything can be a snack as long as you use portion control and count it in whatever manner you are using, be it Weight Watchers or My Fitness Pal.  Also, break the cycle of the 'magic fridge'.  Find a snack that tickles your fancy and have that on hand so that when you open the fridge/pantry, you'll know exactly what you're reaching for, not hoping that there is something there that really isn't.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

At this time last year...

Sometimes it's good to look back so that you can see how far you've come.  This past year has been full of ups and downs.  When I speak of ups and downs, I'm talking about that scale that I step on once a week.  Thankfully, I've seen more downs than ups.  I know that the scale doesn't define who I am, but it sure makes me happy when it goes in the right direction!

This was me last Christmas (by this, I mean the Christmas of 2010).  Yes, that's my sweet baby sitting on my lap.  Oh sniffle!  Moving on.  On Christmas Eve 2010 I weighed in and had lost my first 25 pounds.  By New Year's Eve of 2011, I had lost another 75!

Here is a picture from the same party *hubby's work party-that's where the above picture was also taken*.  I had my hubby take this latter picture.  I wanted to see a smile on my face and see the difference that a year has made.  And, what a change it has made!

I've had several people ask if I was at my goal weight yet and to be honest, I'm not quite there yet.  I still have 6.4 pounds left to go.  In the grand scheme of things, that is such a small amount left to lose.  If I get there will I be done?  You know, I wouldn't mind losing a few more besides.  I am beyond thrilled to have come as far as I have.  I've had a lot of help along the way.

Having people in your life that give you a boost when you're down, cheer for you when you've lost...even just 2/10 of a pound, can talk you down when you're about to eat something you really shouldn't, and just give you all around support--they are a huge help!  Maybe you don't have an 'in real life' friend...it might be a cyber-friend that gives you a boost.  I have to say that even though my hubby didn't completely stay the course with me *and lose a few of his own pounds*, he never brought nasty foods into the house to tempt me.  He'd just inhale them before he got in the house.  Ha!  He did try to rearrange his workout schedule so that I could get back into my aerobics class.

I have to say that when I went to a hubby work function where we were saying 'goodbye' to someone, no one could believe how great I looked.  I'm not sure if I embarrassed them by saying, "You know, after nearly 10 years of marriage, it feels good to have your hubby chase after you in the house or pinch your butt when you walk by" or if it was TMI.  Whichever it may be, I'm happy that after 10 years and 3 children, my hubby still stalks me. :)  I make him proud.  When we're out, he's looking to see which other men happen to be checking out his wife, because when it comes down to it, I'm his.  What an amazing feeling that is!

At the end of the day, I'm proud to be his wife and to be wanted more than ever before.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fat girl? Are you serious?

This is a wee post about the words 'fat girl' in both my blog title and my 'about me' section.

History of me being a fat girl. 

I have a stocky build.  My wedding rings are a size 8 *even though they're loose now*.  My class ring from high school is a 9.  I don't do shoulder pads because they just make me look even more 'stiff' through the shoulders (meaning my shoulders are broad to begin with).  I am and have always been tall.  I am at about 5' 10".  I have never in the past nor will I in the future wear a size 0.  Let's just say, I'm a solid girl.

The teasing began in 6th grade.  I think the boys were irritated because I was taller than them and other things changed for me during that time.  *If you happen to be reading this and you went to school with me, I don't hold any ill feelings toward any of you, it has truly shaped me into who I am today.*  The teasing lessened as we entered junior high because we were at the high school and too busy learning how to juggle getting to our locker and our next class in the allotted time.  By the time I reached high school, the teasing became more unbearable, but the teasers were more subtle.  As I look back at that time, I was far from fat, but I certainly was made to feel that way *even if they never intended for me to feel that way* and that was the body image that I 'adopted.'

This was me as a senior in high school  My boyfriend and I were crowned homecoming king and queen.  Go figure!  In some ways I thought they only chose us because they wanted to tease me more.  Weird, right?

After graduating from high school, I was able to get away from a lot of the garbage that went on, but I still had terrible self image.  I had mono my first semester of college and wasn't able to start until the spring semester.  I exercised when I could at the college workout center.  When I changed to the big state university, that's when I really started packing on the pounds.  I did what I felt like I needed to in order to stay awake through my classes.  Most often that meant Pepsi and peanut M&Ms.  (This is not one of my prouder moments).  My hubby and I were dating during this time and he still loved me for who I was.  By the time we got engaged, I was probably over 200 pounds.

When we got married, I was somewhere around 200, after working at getting back to my skinny self again.

This picture was taken in May of 2001.  We got married in December.  I probably weighed about 180ish here and to me, I look a bit too skinny if that's even possible.

After we got married, life was difficult.  I ate to self soothe.  Marriage wasn't much of what I had expected it to be.  Just before Mother's Day of 2002, I found out I was pregnant with our oldest.  By the time I had her, I easily weighed close to 300 if not more *I stopped looking at the scale when the nurse weighed me at the doctor's office.*

It has been an up and down roller coaster ride ever since.  I've had to put a stop to the emotional eater.  I've had to find ways to help myself cope during times of stress.  I am still in this journey.

So with that said, and my post being much longer than I had intended, my brain has still not completely caught up with my weight loss.  Even though this journey has already taken me over a year, I am still a work in progress.  I am still learning.  Maybe at some point my brain will catch up with the rest of me and I'll remove that part.  Until then, you all are stuck with it.

More planning--let's talk meals!

It's that time of month where I have to sit down with my calendar and plan our meals.  Since my hubby gets paid once a month, we get a majority of our shopping done at once.  We then fill in throughout the weeks as needed. 

This is our calendar.

I think I've had this same calendar for the last 4 or 5 years.  It is quite large.  I am able to get appointments on there along with our dinners, activities, etc.  This is one thing that I ask for at Christmas every year.

I have not completely filled in all of our meals for January, but it will be done before shopping this week.  We have a few staples that we just stick to on a regular basis.  One because they're easy.  Two because the girls love them.  Three they're not too bad in regards to eating healthy *it may not seem that way to you, but again...plan, plan, plan.*  The staples are:  Hebrew National hot dogs *the all beef ones*, boneless skinless chicken breasts, homemade waffles or pancakes, and this month we're getting back into making our own pizzas again.  We will also be using ground turkey in something (chili, meatloaf, burgers).  I think we will also be doing pasta of some sort this month too.

On the nights that we have pancakes/waffles, I often will make a veggie scramble for myself to go with them or opt out of the pancakes all together.  If I opt out of the pancakes, then I'll have some other form of carbohydrate.

Those are our dinners.  For breakfast, I generally eat a veggie scramble, along with one of a couple of items.  My carb choices for breakfast are:  Nature's Path SmartBran (measured using my scale-30g), 1 homemade Spiced Oat muffin, or 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (w/ a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, 2 tbsp pumpkin, and 1tsp Splenda brown sugar blend).  If I'm having cereal, I use the Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Breeze.  I also have coffee with either sugar free or fat free creamer in it.  My lunch usually consists of a salad (2c lettuce), some type of meat on it, 2 tbsp of light cheese, and some homemade light ranch.  I will often throw 9g of chopped unsalted almonds on top.  I also vary my dressing, but right now the ranch tastes good.  I also enjoy peanut butter, so I will have 2 slices of homemade low carb bread and some peanut butter on it.  Snacks depend on my mood, but can include:  an apple, a string cheese, some almonds, turkey pepperoni, or Greek yogurt *the Brown Cow yogurt from Sam's Club is AWESOME!!*

I guess that about covers it.  Again, I plan, plan, plan.  I make our bread *except for the 9 grain organic bread that I picked up for my hubby with our Bountiful Basket...I'll get more into the basket in another post*.  I've also been making my bread to help save money.  I have also ordered my first 4 pack of Kamut flour to use in place of whole wheat flour.  I am anxious to try it out.

Maybe you're thinking, "I often don't feel like what I have planned for that night.  What do I do?"  Sometimes I'll swap it for another night.  I don't usually put a specific chicken meal on the calendar, I just write 'chicken'.  That just means I can cook whatever I want that night as long as it includes chicken.  If I really don't feel like what's on the menu, I will serve the girls sandwiches and I'll make myself another salad.  Play with your meals.  Nothing ever needs to be set in stone.  You could also make a list of meals that you have the ingredients for and then pick one for each day as you get to it.

Why plan your meals?  1) It saves you money.  2) When you have a busy schedule, knowing what will be put on the table that night is a huge plus.  This also applies to if you're making a crockpot meal.  Throw it in first thing in the morning and have something yummy waiting for you when you get home.  3)  It saves you time.  If you have your meals planned even for the week, it'll keep you from guessing every day what you'll have for dinner.  4)  It allows your older children to know what's for dinner, since it's on the calendar.  The big girls often ask me what I'm making for dinner and it's nice to be able to say, "What's on the calendar?" 

What are you making for dinner tonight?  I made mini turkey meatloaves last week in a double batch.  I've pulled the other half out of the freezer for our dinner tonight.  We will be having mixed vegetables with them.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.  I am happy to answer them to the best of my ability.  Now go!  And plan some more!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Get your move on!

It is now the 2nd of January.  Although, I'm still talking about 2010 like it was last year, which clearly, it is not anymore.  With that said, have you decided on how you will get your move on?  What do I mean?  How are you going to exercise move to get to your healthier you?  I know some of you probably don't like that word...the exercise moving word.

There are so many ways to start exercising moving.  If you are a beginner to this whole exercise moving thing, you'll want to take it easy at first, build yourself up to something more difficult.  So here are some suggestions *I am in no way a doctor, so if you want to check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program, that would be great!* 

1.  Take a walk.  I know this is difficult in some parts of the country because of the weather, but you could always try a  Leslie Sansone video.  These give you a good sweat and can be done in a low impact manor.  I've used them as fillers at the beginning of my journey.
2.  Laps at the pool or water aerobics.  If you have a pool near you that is open this time of year, this just might be the thing for you.  It's low impact and will surely give you a workout! 
3.  Check within your community to see if there is an aerobics class that is available to you.  This could also include yoga, spin, etc.  We have a gal here that does an aerobics class three days a week for a higher intensity and 4 days a week for a low intensity. 
4.  Jog/run.  If you feel like you can or it is something you'd like.  Try it out.  Shoot for a 5k...that's only 3.2 miles.  My hubby thinks that once you start running that you won't be able to stop.  It's still not my cup of tea.
5.  Various types of DVDs/VHS.  There are many DVDs out there that can give you a good, heart pumping workout.  I've recently completed P90X and will be starting Slim in 6 as soon as it arrives.  In the meantime, I'm doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. 

Not each of these is for everyone.  You have to find what works best for you.  This is also another common thread for me.  If it doesn't feel good or something hurts, you either need to modify it or find something else.  Sometimes it is nice to have a buddy to do it with you.  Or again...you need to give your own self a kick in the pants.  If you're walking, put some tunes on.  When I go for a walk *sans children* I like having my music to get me moving.  I tend to walk to the beat of the music, so it needs to be peppy.  You might even be appalled at some of the music that I have on my ipod right now.

Exercise Moving has many benefits and here are a few that the Mayo Clinic has listed on their site:
  1. Exercise Moving controls weight
  2. Exercise Moving combats health conditions and diseases
  3. Exercise Moving improves mood
  4. Exercise Moving boosts energy
  5. Exercise Moving promotes better sleep
  6. Exercise Moving helps things between you and your significant other
  7. Exercise Moving can be fun
The article based on these can be found on the Mayo Clinic website.

Consider this your kick in the pants.  Get yourself moving.  I want to see you feeling better and more energized this year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I simply can't believe that it's a new year already.  Where oh where did 2011 go?  It went by far too quickly for my taste.  Do you remember when you were a kid and the time seemed to d-r-a-g by?  I think as we get older, the time speeds up to light speed.  Seriously.

So, how did last night go?  I splurged last night.  I planned on it.  I made cocktail dogs, hot spinach dip from Skinny Taste, and we had summer sausage with cheese.  Uh, the spinach dip.  Yeah, that was good stuff!  Two thumbs way up from at least the three oldest members of our family.  Also...I tracked it all.

One could say, "Resist temptation."  Or.  "Plan on a splurge.  Count it.  Move on."  I am not saying plan a splurge ALL of the time, but once in a while it's nice to have a few things you wouldn't normally have.  Also, don't beat yourself up about it.  Every snack/meal/day is a new one.

In starting the new year, my beloved husband has bought a juicer.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I asked him if it was part of his 'resolution' and he said 'yes.'  So, I'll be intrigued to see how long he lasts.  He said that in order to lose weight, this will help him.  It sounds a bit like Slim Fast to me; drink two juiced beverages a day to 'replace' two meals.  I did tell him that he needs to stop eating bad stuff in addition to drinking these beverages.  He's standing in the kitchen as I type figuring out how to put the juicer together.  If nothing else, I figured I could use the juicer to help make smoothies.

Here's to a healthier New Year!