Monday, December 29, 2008

My 2009 Resolutions

Goal #1 Get Fit
I have found that I really enjoy going to the gym. I will be adding more fitness time to my week. My goal is to get 30 - 45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, and to add 45 minutes of strength training at least 3 times a week. I have some equipment here at home as well as the gym that is close by, so that is a very attainable goal.

Goal #2 to lose 10% of my current weight.
I will be challenging my TOPS group to join me in this challenge. 10% will be something different to each person depending on where they start. I think it is a good starting point for the beginning of the year. Maybe we will all get a shirt that says we have joined an exclusive club of Loser. I will have to be thinking about that. I love visual rewards for hard work. I will be talking to my TOPS group about that.

Goal #3 Completing the Beck Diet Solution Weight Loss Workbook
I will be journaling about that journey on this blogsite in January. If you have not read the book, by Judith Beck I highly recommend it. It is about training your brain to think like a thin person. I hope that some of you will join me on that journey.

I will be leaving for Florida next week. I hope that will be the last trip for awhile. It seems like we have been living out of a suitcase for three months now. I am looking forward to spending some time at home.

Please let me know if you find the information here helpful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Try this at home

Improve Your Mood with This 2-Minute Exercise
By: Dean Anderson : 12/16/2008 12:09:25 PM : 206 comments

Would you be willing to spend two minutes doing a special exercise that could improve your mood and make your life a little (or a lot) easier?

No, this isn’t a gimmick that will get you off the hook for the kind of exercise that makes you breathe hard and sweat a lot. You’ll still have to do that. And it’s not going to make it a breeze to pass up temptations and stick to your food plan.

But this exercise might help you appreciate and enjoy these things–and the rest of your daily duties--a lot more, and avoid feeling sorry for yourself.

You don’t need an expert to tell you that a good mood is like money in the bank. It helps you let the many minor irritations and problems of your daily life roll off your back like water, and gives you the optimism, creativity, and stamina you need to handle whatever life throws at you.

But how do you get yourself into a good mood when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or so many little things are going wrong that you’d have to be unconscious or really snockered not to feel pretty anxious and upset?

The answer is simple: practice gratitude.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And if you’re trying to go from feeling down about your situation to feeling good about it, the shortest path is to be grateful for what you’ve got.

I have to admit that, for many years, this kind of claim drove me crazy. I was stuck in a very long, deep, and unpleasant struggle with major depression and PTSD that had already wrecked my marriage, my business, and left me living on disability benefits with 3 kids to support. To have someone tell me that I should find something to be grateful for struck me as either ignorant or cruel.

Then one day I was sitting in the lobby at my therapist’s office, running through all the problems I wanted to talk with her about that session, when a another client came in. She was carrying a baby, had a toddler in hand, and asked me if I could watch them for a second while she got the other kids out of the car. She came back in with two more young kids, sat down and started crying a little bit while trying to get the kids interested in playing with a few toys. She apologized and explained that she and the kids had just lost their apartment and were living in the car, after her husband had gone to jail for child and spousal abuse.

Well, I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story. I ended up telling my therapist I felt pretty silly getting all caught up in my own worries after hearing about this woman’s troubles, and was feeling grateful that my life wasn’t really as difficult as it could be.

I can’t tell you that this single incident “cured” my problems with depression and anxiety, but it definitely did change my thinking about the power of gratitude, and gave me a great tool I still use whenever I’m starting to feel a little down.

It’s incredibly simple. Just sit down for two minutes and think about what you have to be grateful for today. Come up with 3-5 things that make your life better than it would otherwise be at that moment, and write them down. These don't have to be big things--in fact, this will probably work better if you focus on little things that change from day to day. Putting the same things on your list every time will make the exercise less effective. So you might include something like being grateful for not having a headache, or enjoying your morning coffee that day, or having a pleasant moment with a family member or friend.

If you have the time, think for a minute or two about how and why you have those things in your life, and how to keep them there. If what you’re grateful for is having certain other people in your life, think about how you can let them know how you feel.

If life is pretty hard right now, this may feel a little artificial, trivial, or phony at first. But do it at least once a week anyway–fake it until you make it, if you have to.

If life is really hard today, and things to be grateful for don’t spring to mind, go spend an hour volunteering at the local food bank, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter–or anyplace where you’re likely to find other people having a hard time. Or get on the message boards at Sparkpeople or another site you’re involved in, look for someone else having a hard time, and say something encouraging to them.

The distance between a bad mood and a good mood often isn’t nearly as far as we think it is, and the shortest route is often to practice a little gratitude for what you already have.

You don’t have to take my word for it–there is lots of scientific research supporting the practice of gratitude. And there is a pretty large and active community of gratitude practitioners on the SP message boards you can talk to about this.

Why not give it a try yourself, right here, right now.

What do you have to be grateful for today?

Monday, December 15, 2008

What to do when you overeat during the holidays.

So you are all in the swing of Holiday parities, baking and shopping and now you are finding it easy to over indulge. You must find time to get more exercise in. During commercials while watching TV is one way or you can do as I do and learn to love the morning exercise routine. I meet a friend at the gym two or three mornings a week around 9 AM. For the rest of this month I am going to try and get in even earlier exercise. I have a busy schedule and I need to make exercise a priority. I didn't weigh in last week and I know I overate while babysitting the grandsons last week, so I need to get myself moving even more. Here is another great article I found on Sparkpeople today. Think about it.

Top 5 Reasons to Love A.M. Exercise

Exercising early in the morning "jump starts" your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, you'll be burning more calories all day long--just because you exercised in the morning.

Exercising in the morning energizes you for the day--not to mention that gratifying feeling of virtue you have knowing you've done something disciplined and good for you. (Much better than a worm!)

Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity--a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, instead of wasting it while you're snoozing.

Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldn't be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier--especially since regular exercise generally means a higher quality of sleep, which in turn means you'll probably require less sleep. (If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.)

When you exercise at about the same time every morning--especially if you wake up regularly at about the same time--you're regulating your body's endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes.
Exercise Extra: More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine. If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout into the a.m.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

30 calorie treats

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 11
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 29.8
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 54.5 mg
Total Carbs: 3.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 1.0 g

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bites
Submitted by WHATSEEDS

A great 30-calorie sweet treat!
2 Minutes to Prepare and Cook


Vanilla extract, imitation, alcohol, 0.5 tsp
Splenda, 1tbsp
Cream Cheese, Publix Fat Free, 5 tbsp
Hershey's Cocoa, Special Dark, .5-1 tbsp
Great Value Light Whipped Topping, 16 tbsp (1 cup)
Chocolate Chips, Publix Mini Semisweet, 1 tbsp


Mix coolwhip, cream cheese, vanilla, and splenda (using mixer, blender, or bowl and fork).
For chocolate cheesecake bites, add cocoa and stir in thorougly (to create swirl cheesecakes, divide batter in half and add the cocoa to half the batter - mix thoroughly, then recombine batter, swirling chocolate batter into plain batter).
Spoon into 10-15 slots of an ice cube tray.
Top each bite with 5-10 mini chocolate chips, one teaspoon sugar free chocolate syrup, or smucker's sugar free fruit preserves (rasberry, strawberry, blueberry, etc - 3 calories per teaspoon).
Freeze for 2 hrs. After fully freezing, they should pop right out, or you might need to run water over the bottom of the tray to help them come out.

Number of Servings: 11

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Exercise Tips

SparkPeople Experts Answer Your Fitness Questions

Question: I read that weight training is a lot more effective at burning fat than cardio, and if you could only do one of the two, you should weight train. Is this true?

Expert Answer:
Weight training is important for a couple of reasons. First, the more muscle you have, the higher your base metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn even at rest. But the actual numbers involved in a whole day of "extra" calorie burning due to extra muscle are relatively small compared to the number of calories you can burn during an hour of cardio exercise.

The second reason is more important. Whenever you lose weight, you will lose some muscle along with the fat. If you don't exercise and do some strength training, up to 30% of the weight you lose can come from muscle loss, and that isn't likely to be healthy over the long haul. Good strength and muscle tone are essential for functional living and health. You can hold your muscle loss down to 3-5% of total weight loss with moderate strength training. Likewise, strength training helps to preserve bone density, balance, and many other important things.

So, strength train each muscle group at least twice a week--this really only takes about 30-45 minutes per workout. Better yet, try circuit training, where you lift weights without resting between sets. This method meets both cardio and strength requirements because you keep your heart rate elevated throughout your workout, increasing the amount of calories you burn per workout.

After you've met your 2 strength sessions per week, focus on cardio if your goal is weight loss. You need the cardio for the calorie burning, and also to build and maintain your cardiovascular fitness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Spark People Today

Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits & Veggies Each Day
Tricks for Healthy Treats
-- By Laura Bofinger, Staff Writer
"Eat your fruits and vegetables." We've heard it all of our lives. If only it were so simple.

Our bodies crave fruits and vegetables more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need. We often think we'd survive just fine on 2-3 servings a day – or less. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA both recommend at least 5 servings per day! What you’re missing could be the difference between just surviving and all out thriving.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible.

Tips and Tricks

Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fresh fruit.
Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon and cheese.
Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish. It's an easy way to get in another serving of the good stuff.
Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips -- and less messy. It tastes especially good when added to basic trail mix.
When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immdiately store the extra away for tomorrow. It'll save you time later on.
Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups.
If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple instead of fatty meats and extra cheese.
Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork, pineapple is great with fish, and orange slices are perfect with chicken.
Besides being packed full of nutrients, fruits and vegetables can also be quite filling. They may even ward off any empty calorie snacking that might follow! Don’t be discouraged by the recommended 5 servings a day. The guide below shows that one serving is less than what you might think.

One serving equals:
1 medium piece of fruit
1/2 cup fruit (raw, canned, or frozen)
1/2 cup cooked vegetables (canned or frozen)
1 cup raw vegetables
1/4 cup dried fruit
4-6 oz. of 100% juice (serving size depends on the type of juice)
1/2 cup cooked peas or beans

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here is another Sparkpeople article

Calories Are Coming to Town
You Better Watch Out!
-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
Is your holiday eating already in full swing? Have you sampled the foil-wrapped chocolate at the bank, dunked the office Christmas cookies in your morning coffee, or taken your famous dessert to the neighborhood gathering?

Among the most cherished of holiday traditions is sharing special foods—especially desserts and sweets. While many of these favorites are heavy on sugar and fat, you don’t have to feel guilty about splurging. You can still enjoy those special dessert recipes by following these tips.

Healthy Holiday Substitutions:

Use canned applesauce or plums in cake and pie recipes as a healthier alternative to butter, margarine, or oil.
When muffin and quick bread recipes call for fat (such as oil), try reducing it by one-third to one-half. You won’t even miss it.
In ice cream desserts, use ice milk or low-fat frozen yogurt.
Save the fat by using cocoa powder instead of chocolate. Substitute three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate in baked goods such as cakes or cookies. For chocolate fillings, you may need to add one or two teaspoons of oil in addition to the cocoa.
Replace heavy cream in puddings, cheesecakes, and cream pies with evaporated skim milk.
Use nonfat yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. Two egg whites can be substituted for each whole egg in many baked recipes.
Since much of the fat in cake comes from the frosting, try topping cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.
Use Splenda brand sweetener in place of all or part of the sugar in baked goodies. It works great in pie fillings and puddings too. Follow the baking tips on the box and visit for ideas.
Decrease the amount of nuts used in a recipe by half, substituting it with Grape-Nuts cereal to keep the crunch and texture.
Reduce the amount of chocolate chips or nuts in a recipe by one-fourth. No one will even notice!
Use fat-free whipped cream in place of regular whipped cream.
Substitute skim milk for regular milk.
Cut Even More Calories by Cutting Down On Size:
Cut pies into 10 slices (instead of the standard 6-8 slices).
Cut cakes and brownies into bite size pieces.
Bake bite-size cookies and muffins.
To savor the flavor of every bite, slow down and enjoy your dessert with a cup of herbal tea, flavored coffee, or low-fat, sugar-free cocoa. Enhance the flavor by using fat-free half and half, fat-free whipped cream, colored sugars, and sugar-free sweeteners. Yummy! Now that’s a taste of heaven!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stress Relief for Women: Spend Time with Your Girlfriends

I love the articles that I get from SparkPeople. Here is another terrific one, Hope you enjoy it.

Stress Relief for Women: Spend Time with Your Girlfriends
By: Stepfanie Romine : 11/29/2008 10:41:37 AM : 33 comments

Girlfriendology founder Debba Haupert made her debut as a guest blogger on the dailySpark in September. Now that girlfriend guru is back, with plenty of good advice culled from interviews and chats with her own girlfriends.

Are you stressed? Worried about the economic situation? Unsure of what the future holds?

Join the club. Unfortunately we’re all stressed, especially women. The American Psychological Association research study "Stress in America," reports that women are more fearful about the current financial situation than men. Women are reporting more physical and psychological symptoms, including sleep disturbance, headaches, mood swings and changes in appetite. In fact, more than one-third of women currently rank their stress level as "extreme."

Healthwise, stress can impact us in profoundly negative ways. We often react by partaking in unhealthy habits like overeating, drinking too much and smoking. Stress can elevate our blood pressure, affect our hearts, and impact our ability to sleep or concentrate. Emotionally it can make us anxious, fearful, depressed or paranoid. With the holidays here and all the traditional challenges they brings with them, now is a great time to find some stress relief.

How can women reduce stress? First, let’s look at how we process it. As women, we don’t have the male gene that causes a “fight or flight” response. We actually respond with a need to “tend and befriend.” We want to take care of our children and to be with our friends. (More on this in the book: “The Tending Instinct,” by psychologist Shelley E. Taylor.) Also, we are often the primary source of emotional support to children, men and other women – so if we’re stressed, it can impact everyone around us.

Unfortunately we individually can’t do much to stop the economic situation, but we can reduce our stress so we can take better care of ourselves and our families.

Here at Girlfriendology, the online community for women based on female friendship, we believe it is more important than ever for women to look out for ourselves and one another. Girlfriends make us healthier, happier, live longer, feel more beautiful and even reduce stress. These close social ties are therapeutic and healthy, especially in a time of high stress.

So, girlfriends – here are 10 ways women can reduce stress, with help from our female friends:

Volunteer with a friend. Animal shelter or senior center, church group or a neighborhood organization--volunteering together doubles the fun. And, knowing that you’re helping others takes your mind off your own stress and reminds you of all your blessings.

Simplify your lives--together. Take turns helping each other get organized. Help your girlfriend with household projects or have her join you in cleaning out your basement. Organize, declutter and to trust your girlfriend to help you make good choices in what to keep and what to donate or toss. Do a little at a time--no need to be stressed by the project!

Phone a friend--still is a great lifeline! Sure, we sometimes send a quick email or forward a funny joke, but it takes personal communication to really connect. People love the sound of their friend’s voice. Give her a call to catch up. Plan a phone date at a time that’s good for both of you. I have a monthly coffee phone dates with a long-distance girlfriend. We plan a time to talk on the weekend when the free minutes are rolling. A few minutes on the phone together can totally erase all our worries simply through a caring, fun conversation between girlfriends.

Start a girlfriend group. Gather friends and start a book club, running club, mommies group or gourmet club. Find a common interest and then meet up on a regular basis. Like a vacation, it’s something great to anticipate!

Make plans to do dinner or lunch. Food + girlfriends = fun! Try a new restaurant or share appetizers at your girlfriends’ for a happy hour with the girls. Take a wine tasting or cooking class together.

Take a yoga or Pilates class with a girlfriend. The exercise will help you physically, the girlfriend will help you emotionally – both wonderful outcomes for an hour of your time. Plus, you’re bound to find things to giggle about in class, which is worth the effort simply for the comic relief!

Try some animal therapy. Pets, like girlfriends, are also a proven source of stress relief. Put the two together and visit a dog park with a girlfriend. You’ll laugh at the dog antics, personalities and owners. Or, take a dog for a walk together. That combines exercise, animals and friendship--add a nice day and you’re set for a super stress-relieving session.

Be creative. Enjoy time together and forget about the stress in your lives by getting creative. Take a knitting class, plan a day to scrapbook, make cards, bead or try a new craft together. Crafting is also a wonderful way to get your mind thinking creatively which can lead to new solutions for your stressful life. There’s a reason women are so passionate about their pastimes--find your passion and some girlfriends who share that hobby with you and you’re on your way to happiness. And, you can make gifts for your girlfriends!

Plan some together time for pampering. Go shoe shopping, get haircuts or massages, or share a cup of tea--together. Allow yourself some time together to take care of your inner girlie-girl.

Get healthy together. The fact is: weight gain or unhealthy habits often accompany stress. Find an approach that works for both of you to get healthier. Get her to sign up for SparkPeople too and track your progress together. Hold each other accountable for eating right, exercising, encouraging each other and celebrating your successes. Stress diminishes when you’re healthy, happy, beautiful and with your girlfriend!

You see? Spending time with your girlfriends is an excellent way of reducing your stress and that of your friends. By taking this pre-emptive, proactive approach, you’ll both be healthier, calmer and even have happier holidays. Stress-relief by spending time with your girlfriends … it’s a great way to respond to whatever stresses you!

Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship.
Founded by Debba Haupert in 2006, Girlfriendology inspires women to make new female acquaintances, spend time with their girlfriends, and appreciate those friendships that are vital to women’s health and happiness. features inspiring women in semi-weekly podcasts, contests to share girlfriend stories and provides videos, shopping, reviews, blogs and more

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stop Failure Before it Starts

14 Tips for Starting and Sticking With It
Stop Failure Before it Starts
-- By Julie Isphording, former Olympian
For some of us out there, if we could just convince ourselves that there is enough time in the day to exercise, we could be on track to a great fitness program. For others, we get started but quickly lose momentum and give up. To help get started and stay on track, here are a few tips:

Throw away the bathing suit you wore in high school… and the memory too. It’s normal to have a mental image of yourself when you last exercised like a fiend. But if that image is from high school, you could be in big trouble. Even if it’s from last year, forget it. Remember as little as possible of what you used to look like. Starting today, make new memories.

Prepare. We already know you don’t have the time, so write it down like an appointment every day. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment, why would you cancel on yourself? Aren’t you important too?

Start slowly. Do much less than what you’re capable of. Take a 20-minute walk if you’re returning to exercise. You might feel like it’s not enough, but it’s a good start.

Get the family involved. Run while your daughter rides her bike. Go to a local track and let the kids play their own games. Run with your spouse. Sign up for a local 10K. Walk with your son. Celebrate with a little something special after every activity.

Where are your friends? Four words, four reasons – motivation, inspiration, determination, conversation. Surround yourself with friends who think positive and live large.

Put the pain in perspective. When the going gets tough, remember that you have survived 600 carpools, 540 loads of laundry (this month), 41 baseball games, 230 dinners and one family vacation. What’s the big deal?

Allow yourself to slow down. You’re driving this bus! For the first time today, you are in control.

Sign up for a race. It’s a goal to strive for and adds a little meaning to your everyday workout.

Run/walk in public. Be proud of your accomplishment. Take in all the sites and be an inspiration to others.

Just show up. Go to the gym, class, or the park. Once you’re there, it’s hard to say no. 98% of life is showing up.

Eat. Follow a healthy eating pattern. If you limit your calorie intake, you will not have enough energy to work out and your metabolism will slow down.

Understand your energy cycle. There are peaks during our days. Even during the week. Try to complete your workout when you feel good about yourself.

Wallow in your greatness. You can exercise to become a better exerciser, or you can exercise to become a better mother, a better father, doctor, teacher, or a better friend – or you can exercise to become BETTER. Be proud of that accomplishment.

Have fun. Where’s your childlike spirit? When you can make workouts "playouts," you’ve got it made.
Don’t give up on yourself. After all, it’s never too late to be that healthy person you might have been.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't be a Dieting Loner

Get Others Involved
Don't be a Dieting Loner
-- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
Coaches, mentors, trainers, teammates, partners, fans. Even the greatest athletes in the world can’t do it alone.

People naturally perform better when others are on their side and helping out. Even in everyday nutrition and fitness, we’ve found that people who involve others and ask for help get much better results and stick to their programs longer than people who try to go the distance on their own.

Why is that? For starters, positive peer pressure can be one of the most powerful motivators around. It’s tougher to quit when someone else is counting on you. In fact, with a team that’s pulling for you, it’s less likely that you’ll want to quit.

When you involve others, you have access to more knowledge, more ideas, more enthusiasm, and more resources. Bicyclists and race car drivers are finding out that they need teammates looking out for them if they have any chance at all of winning. You can take advantage of the same benefits.

Finally, having other people help out just makes weight loss a heckuva lot more fun. Especially for social exercisers, trying to lose weight and exercise alone can leave you bored out of your mind.

Your weight loss goals are every bit as important as those of a world-class athlete. This is why SparkPeople emphasizes meeting and getting to know other members. We’ve seen the Spark that happens on the Message Boards, when members rally behind someone who’s struggling, or congratulate the latest success.

Business people draw on a team of accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, headhunters, board members, etc. Together, they form a team of specialists that open up possibilities to that businessperson and his/her business goals. You can build a similar team around your weight loss goals. People that can help with your journey are all around you. You can do this without making a lot of demands on anyone’s time. Some possible ways to build a strong team by only asking one thing of each person:

Ask a friend to check with you once a week to see how you’re doing.
Ask your significant other to be there when you need to unload.
Ask a co-worker to keep you upbeat.
Ask your kids to help you find active ways to have fun.
Ask your brother-in-law to pass along inspirational reading and interesting health news.
Ask your photographer sister to take "before" and "in-progress" pictures.
Better yet, why not ask someone to join your healthy lifestyle quest? Going through and succeeding with a new program with a friend or buddy can create a bond that carries over into other areas of your life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 Tips for Starting a Wellness Program Today

10 Tips for Starting a Wellness Program Today
Easy Ways to Get Healthy
-- By Carrie Myers Smith, Health & Fitness Writer

It’s never too late to begin your journey in wellness! Here are 10 steps you can take today to get started.

1. Write out your goals and desires. What’s your wellness vision? Where do you envision yourself three to five years from now? Set three-month and weekly goals based on your wellness vision. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-oriented.

2. Ask what, when and how. Make a list of the hurdles that keep getting in your way of living a life of wellness. Then determine which ones are true obstacles – things that you need to work around or find solutions to. And the excuses – ‘nuf said!

3. Have a plan. Rarely, if ever, is any major task or project accomplished without a plan in place. Lay out a plan for accomplishing your goals, as well as solutions for overcoming the hurdles. This is your game plan – it should be flexible, but have fortitude, fun, but not “fluff.” And make it active. Include specific steps you will take to reach your goals.

4. Start a journal. Your goals, desires, barriers, obstacles, excuses, solutions and plan should all be a part of your journal. Make your journal yours. Set it up so it’s easy to use so that you will use it. Include space to just let your thoughts flow. Use it to let out your feelings, vent, rejoice, or celebrate. You’ll be amazed at how freeing it is!

5. Begin your journey where you’re standing now. Where are you right now, this moment, on your journey? Accept where you are and where you need to be and begin the steps necessary to bridge that gap. If, however, you find that old issues keep popping up, preventing you from reaching your goals, you may need to seek counseling. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to first go backward.

6. Take one step at a time. What happens when a builder forgets an important step in building a house? Or a chef leaves out an important ingredient in a recipe? Doesn’t work so well, does it? It’s the same thing with your life. You must take certain steps in order to reach a place of wellbeing—and make it fit your lifestyle.

7. Learn from your setbacks. Making mistakes and experiencing failure is all a part of being human and living. Rather than getting down on yourself, take that setback and turn it into something positive – something you can use to reach your goals. Sometimes life is indeed two steps forward, one step back!

8. Spend some time “cleaning house.” This is intended to be both literal and figurative. When our homes are a cluttered mess, it’s impossible to function well. Ditto for our schedules. Create a list of your activities and decide which ones aren’t contributing to your overall purpose in life. “De-fluff” that schedule and concentrate on those activities that bring meaning to your life, and ultimately to others!

9. Stop comparing yourself to others. We’re bombarded by images of “perfect” bodies every day. It’s easy to get caught up in all of it and feel as though we’ll never measure up – and chances are, we won’t. Let’s get real! These images are results of computer imagery, great lighting, professional make-up artists, self-starvation, plastic surgery and really good genes. Stop comparing yourself to a fantasy and just be the best you that you can be.

10. Reward yourself. It’s OK to feel good about yourself! And it’s OK, and beneficial, to reward yourself for your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. A meal at your favorite restaurant, a date at the movies, a new outfit, a bubble bath… whatever you wouldn’t normally take the time to do, as long as it contributes to your wellbeing, is a great reward!

Thursday, November 13, 2008 I can't get this to upload as a video for you so just copy the lnk and paste into your browser. You will love this version of the creation story.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote with Your Fork

Vote with Your Fork
Make Every Day an Election Day
-- By Liza Barnes & Nicole Nichols, Health Educators
SparkPeople Sponsors help keep the site free!
One-quarter of Americans are obese. Sixty percent live a sedentary lifestyle. And this generation of kids is the first generation since 1900 that may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. The health of America, the world’s richest nation, is failing. And what we eat (or don't eat) could be to blame. A bag of Cheetos is cheaper than a bag of apples; unhealthy processed foods are more prevalent (and less expensive) than whole foods; families eat dinner away from home more than ever before. When you hear stats like this, it's easy to feel discouraged. But changing our food landscape isn’t just advisable—it is essential.

If you’re unhappy with the way things are, consider how they got like this in the first place. McDonald’s doesn’t make cheap hamburgers because laws require them to. They make cheap hamburgers because people buy them. Clearly, both the problem and the solution are in our hands.

The decisions we make every day—what to eat, where to shop, how to commute—may seem small, but they send a clear message about what is important to us. If you think that change only comes from the top, and voting only happens at the polls, think again. Every time you buy food, clothing, fuel, or entertainment, you are, in essence, voting for the company that produced, packaged, and marketed it. Every time we spend money, the recipient of our dollars gets the message that we approve of their product and we want more of it. But the inverse is also true. Some cases in point:

You might not be old enough to remember Rosa Parks and the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, but you certainly learned about the success of that 11-month nonviolent protest. People carpooled, walked, and biked to send a powerful message that it was time for change. Every dime that wasn’t tossed into the bus company’s coffers was a vote against racial segregation. In the end, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that segregation was unconstitutional.

You surely aren’t old enough to remember the 1791 sugar boycott in England, but it’s another example of how small decisions can really add up. At the time, Britain’s largest import was slave-produced sugar, but there was a growing anti-slavery sentiment in the nation. When Parliament refused to abolish slavery, a boycott was organized. Sales of slave-produced sugar dropped significantly, while sales of Indian sugar, produced without slavery, rose exponentially. Women, who didn’t even have the right to vote, brought about awareness and change by simply buying a different “brand” of sugar.

Election Day happens every day. You have the opportunity to cast your vote and change the world at almost every turn—or at the very least, every meal. What would you vote for if everything was on a ballot: Lower rates of obesity? Healthy food that's affordable? Humanely raised meat? How about healthy school lunch menus, more accountability in the food industry, pedestrian and bike-friendly cities, or more community vegetable gardens?

Here are 11 simple ways that you can "vote with your fork" every time you shop, eat, or dine out.

Vote against dependence on oil. Choose alternative forms of transportation that use less gasoline and keep your body fit at the same time: walking, biking, scootering, bussing, and carpooling, combining trips, choosing to live closer to work, or, if possible, working from home.

Vote for lower health care costs. Most of our country's health problems stem from lifestyle diseases that are preventable. So let's all do our part to prevent them and cut everyone's health care costs. Feed yourself (and your kids) fresh, home-cooked meals more often. Exercise regularly. And don't smoke.

Vote against all disposable bags at the grocery store. Keep paper and plastic bags out of landfills by bringing your own shopping bags every time you shop.

Vote for healthy food choices at restaurants. When you do choose to eat fast food or dine out, choose the healthy options. This helps send a clear message that people want healthy meals, making it more likely that restaurants will keep these dishes on the menu—and add more like it.

Vote against unhealthy food choices. Have you ever noticed that chips, cookies, sweets and candy take up more space in the grocery store than healthy foods do? If you're tired of unhealthy foods tempting you at every turn, then turn them down yourself. Part of the reason these foods are so prevalent is that people do buy them. Send your message loud and clear by not supporting companies who don't seem to have the health of their consumers in mind.

Vote for locally grown produce. Your local farmers market offers seasonal food that's fresh, healthy, and eco-friendly. When you spend your food dollars at your local farmers market, you're voting for the farmer, his farming methods, the farmers market and your community. Buying local food casts a vote against conventionally grown produce that's imported or shipped thousands of miles to your supermarket even though it's already available close to home.

Vote against the inhumane treatment of animals. If it bothers you to think about the conditions where your meat, poultry, eggs and milk come from, then don't support it. Choose meatless meals more often, or spend your dollars on companies and local farmers who raise animals more humanely.

Vote for organically-grown food. If you believe in the health, environmental or nutritional benefits of organic food, then dedicate a portion of your food dollars to supporting it. You'll be voting against pesticides, the companies who develop and produce them, the industrial agribusinesses who use them, the effects they have on people and the environment. Sure organic is more expensive, but that's partly because demand is high and supply is low. When you buy organic, you tell farmers and retailers that organic matters to you—and that can change the selection and prices in your favor.

Vote against eating on the run. When you buy ingredients and cook at home, you're telling restaurants and eat-on-the-run food manufacturers that you don't agree with their cooking methods, ingredients, or fast food philosophy. There are so many benefits to eating meals at home, from saving money to bonding with your family to eating healthier. Plus how much can you really enjoy the experience of drinking soup from a container that fits in your car's cup holder? Let's bring food back where it belongs—the kitchen table.

Vote for smaller portions. We often see big portions as a good value, but are they really? If you can't finish it, the food goes to waste. If you do finish it, you're eating more than you should (and likely paying for it with health problems and medical care later). Buy smaller portion sizes when they're available to tell restaurants and manufacturers what you really think about burritos as big as your head.

Vote against food waste. Fast food, convenience foods, bottled beverages and single-use cups generate a lot of waste. When possible, choose foods that use less packaging, and bring your own reusable containers for leftovers, coffee and water. You'll be helping the environment and cutting food costs by spending less on packaging.

If you get frustrated at the current food environment, do something about it. Every dollar you spend, every food choice you make, and every meal you eat is an opportunity to vote for what you believe in. We can't change the way our food environment is structured overnight, but we can make a difference three times a day by voting with our forks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To My Dearest Friends....I'm SO glad I found out about this!!

The Correct way to weigh!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I will be away for a few weeks

I am heading to Syracuse NY tomorrow. My best friend will pick me up at the airport. We will start our Road Trip right away. I wish I had a laptop so that I could share this journey on line with you all.
You know that big trip after graduation that you always wanted to take? Well this is my trip. I have always wanted to travel by car across the country. And what better way to do it than with your best friend.
So here we are a couple of grandma's taking a trip across the country by car. She is moving there and I am keeping her company on the trip. We have been best friends for 36 years. We raised are kids together, camped together and drank a lot of coffee together. We have laughed and cried together many times over the last three decades. I am so happy to be able to join her on this trip. I can't wait to see some of this beautiful country we live in.

I worry that I will lose my momentum here with not being able to visit with all my teams. In the past traveling has meant weight gain. I am hoping that this time the desire stays with me to eat healthy and to get some exercise.

I will be reporting back. around the 20th or 21st of this month. I will have weigh in on the 23rd so I will let you all know how I have done.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

From spark people

Your Four-Legged Workout Buddy

Just as it would be hard for you to go out and jog for 45 minutes if you haven't worked out in 6 months, it's also hard for your pet. Be sure to get your veterinarian's okay before beginning your pet's exercise routine. After you get the go-ahead, here are some tips to help you get started:
Start slowly, gradually increasing the time and intensity of the activity. This will safely strengthen your pet's muscles, aerobic capacity, and footpads.

Pay attention to how your pet is feeling. Signs that your pet needs to slow down or stop include drooling, stumbling, trouble breathing, and a long, droopy tongue. Take a break and consider making tomorrow's workout shorter. Also remember that in hot weather your pet can't sweat like you do to keep cool.

Concrete and asphalt are tough on your friends' paws--especially on hot days. Try to walk or run on dirt paths (or grass) as much as possible.

The longer you work out, the more water Fido needs. Bring along a collapsible water dish to help your pet stay hydrated.

Be realistic about your pet's limitations. Many smaller breeds love going for a brisk walk, but you'll probably have to carry them on a strenuous hike. Animals with a thin coat will not tolerate cold weather very well, whereas dogs with thick coats don't do well in the summer heat.

You should avoid strenuous exercise with your pet until they are finished growing (after 9-12 months for most dogs).
Time Involved: At least 10 minutes every day

Body Benefit: Healthy heart and lungs for both of you

Friday, September 26, 2008

From my spark blog this morning

First of all we found gas yesterday. DH was calling gas station before 8 AM and found a station near by that had gas. We are both retired so we don't have to be any where at a particular time. However, DH does some handy man things around town and needed gas to get to the house he was working on. He used up the the majority of the gas left in our cars on Wed. So he was planning on staying home on Thursday.

I had to cancel my day at the Hospice Office for my volunteer work on Wed, I had to also cancel at TOPS meeting and my hair cut. I was completely frustrated. I live in a pretty hilly neighborhood. It is hard for me to walk up the hills. anywhere I walk will require me to return up a pretty steep hill, but I was determined to take a walk at least for my daily cardio workout.

I started down the hill and walked to the first stop sign, about 1 mile. I was feeling pretty good and so decided I would turn right and head up another hill. The next road had a little more hill to it, but I knew it was down hill pretty much the rest of the way home (Except for the killer hill back to my road) So off I went determined I would walk around this block. It was sunny, not too warm and a gentle breeze was blowing. I was feeling pretty good; proud of myself for continuing my walk.

I thought the road had a couple of curves to it, but It has a lot of curves to it. I kept walking, talking myself into putting one foot in front of the other. It was getting harder each step I took. I continued on. I was enjoying myself in spite of the nagging ache in my feet and ankles.

I had on my pedometer but didn't want to know how far I had come until I was nearer home. I knew I had been gone awhile, why didn't I take my cell phone with me. I was beginning to notice there weren't many cars passing on this road, in fact there weren't many houses. Just countryside scenery. I was enjoying the view, when I came upon a large field where they were picking up hay bales that had been cut. Now I wish I had my dog with me. I was beginning to feel un easy walking on such a deserted road. And now I was getting thirsty. I forgot to bring any water to drink. Still I continued on.

I got to the end of that road and turn left again. I was getting closer to the next road that would take me back to the road I started on. With new determination I continued on. Despite the thirst , despite the ache in my hip, despite the growing weariness and the much slower pace, I kept walking.
I was getting closer to home with each step.

I made another left turn and looked at the road ahead of me... hey I don't remember that hill. Keep walking I tell myself. as I got to the top of this hill I could see my road. Ok I will make it. It is only a little way more. Sure would like to find a bench to sit on for a little while. But if I stop will I be able to get up and keep going? Better just keep moving so I did. Finally the next stop sign is just ahead. I increase my pace, stand a little taller and keep on moving. I make the stop sign and it is then I remember that once I make the turn here the KILLER HILL is ahead of me. Do I have the strength to make it up that hill?

I find a tree and take a couple of minutes to rest in the shade. I remember the HILL it is always hard for me, how will I ever manage it when I am tired and sore for this much longer walk than I had intended to take. I plan my strategy. I will walk to the next mailbox, then the next, then the next until I make it to the top.

I pull myself up. I look at the HILL and I say I will conquer you today! First one mailbox, I stop to rest. Then the next, and the next , stopping until I can gather my strength and then on to the last one. The top of the HILL is just ahead. Once I get there I turn to my road, just a couple hundred feet to my driveway. Normally the hill in my driveway doesn't bother me, but today.. it looks pretty high, but relief, water, and rest is on the other end and I continue.

I did I looked at my pedometer and it was 6 miles. It took me one hour and 40 minutes, but I did it! I was so proud of myself. I can tackle anything as long as I take it a little at a time. So maybe not having any gas was a good thing.

What do you do to challenge yourself?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

From Spark People

I grew up with having dessert... I was required to eat my meal before I could have it. Thus Ialways ended my meal with something sweet. I don't do that as an adult, yet I long for that sweet finish to a meal. This is something I will consider:

Healthier Ways to Eat Dessert
Smart Substitution: Dessert
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
Sticking with a healthy eating plan is hard work. There is no way around that, but for many it means giving up the foods that they love the most. But, you don’t have to do that! If you are limiting yourself so much that healthy eating becomes more of a hindrance than a help, then your good habits won't last long. So what does this mean? You can still eat dessert-- and enjoy it! Learn some smart substitutions to make your dessert a healthy part of your day.

The key to including dessert is to enjoy that sweet treat without overloading on calories, fat, and sugar. Desserts can often make it hard to maintain a healthy weight. But who wants to give up their favorite foods? Willpower is hard to fight against. As with many things in life, moderation is key, so you’ll need to stop yourself before you overindulge. Try sensible portions; you can eat 1 slice of pie and still be in your calorie range for the day.

Not every chocolate cake or banana nut muffin is created equal. Look for things without a lot of butter, nuts, or creamy frosting. Since feeling guilty can ruin a good meal, why not try some of our ideas instead of your “regular” desserts?


Low fat cookie
Frozen 100% juice bar
Fresh berries with low fat creamer
A few pieces of chocolate
Frozen grapes
Angel food cake
Pudding made with skim milk
Nondairy frozen dessert
Low fat ice cream or sorbet
Pieces of fruit
If you are the one doing the cooking, there are lots of ways to make your favorite recipes healthier.

Egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs.
Apple sauce or prune puree instead of oil when baking to naturally trap moisture into your cakes and breads.
Less sugar. A lot of recipes call for much more sugar than is needed. You might even like it better!
Fruit-based desserts. Although you still have to be careful, these desserts often have less calories and fat than a chocolate or cream based one.
One of our recipes. The resource center is full of healthy dessert recipes just waiting for you to try.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From my Spark Page

I am so frustrated. We have a gas shortage here in NC. I can't go anywhere as my DH has to use my car... the only one with gas. I can't go to the gym, I can't go to Hospice for my volunteer time today and worst of all I can't get my hair cut! I am leaving for my big trip in 10 days. I wanted to get my hair cut today and do a little shopping. I need some new clothes for the trip. I can solve the gym problem I will take a walk and do some exercises here at home... but everything else has to wait. The lines for the few stations that have gas are more than 6 blocks long in both directions.. people are running out of gas while in line and pushing their cars to the gas station. They say we should be in better shape by monday. Monday???? what do people do in the mean time?

This frustration would normally drive me to the kitchen, but instead I am going to take a walk.

The good news is I lost 1.25 pounds this week

I have also lost several inches
Hope you all have a wonderful day and remember to drink your water


From SB Today

Daily Dish
Get Moving!
Tomorrow is National Women's Health & Fitness Day, the nation's largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This health observance is a great reminder for people following the South Beach Diet to complement their healthy eating with some healthy activity.

Exercise is a fundamental part of the South Beach Diet lifestyle, so why not take this opportunity to participate in one of the hundreds of women's health and fitness events sponsored by local organizations at hospitals, health clubs, park and recreational districts, and other community locations?

If you can't make it to one of these events, resolve to begin a fitness routine, or try a new form of exercise if you're already active. Remember, Dr. Agatston recommends selecting an activity that you enjoy so you're more likely to continue doing it. He also advises easing into a routine rather than overdoing it and then abandoning the program because it was too hard. Here are a few activities you may want to try:

Take a coworker for a "talk walk." Instead of a coffee break at your desk, grab a coworker and take a walk outside. The conversation will make the time fly by, while the exercise will raise your energy level (so you'll be less likely to get sluggish by midafternoon).

Play tag with your kids. When was the last time you participated in a simple game of tag? Rediscover your inner child while spending quality time with your kids. They'll get a kick out of having you join their game, and it's a great way to reconnect with your little ones while enjoying some exercise.

Take a loved one to a salsa club or social dance. It's always more fun to exercise with a partner than doing it alone. Find a dance club that offers swing, salsa, or line country dancing and you'll learn some new moves with this enjoyable form of exercise. And for those who have two left feet, try a less-crowded, early evening lesson to help get you up to speed.

Consider martial arts. This is another activity that you can participate in with your child. Find a class that offers instruction for both of you, or go to separate classes and practice your moves together at home.

Go for a ride. September's beautiful weather is perfect for an afternoon bike ride. Bring your bike in for a tune-up and then take it for a spin around your neighborhood. Don't have a bike? Try an indoor spinning class instead.

Take a dip in the pool. Many community centers offer great pool-based fitness classes, so check your local listings for a class that suits you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Personal thoughts

I have spent the last two weeks really focused on recording what I eat and getting the exercise in. Thanks to Spark People, I have finally started to lose some weight. Like many of you I wanted it to be faster, but I know for this to be permanent I need to do it slowly while establishing good habits. My doctor is helping me get the appetite under control, my commitment of writing down everything I am eating and getting the exercise I need, is helping me drop some weight. I know it is early in this journey, but I feel more confident then I have felt in some time. I look forward to the challenges that I have joined on . I really want to encourage you to take charge of your weight loss. Make the difficult changes, and stop back here and tell me how you are doing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From Spark People Today

Snacking Healthy
Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

While some dieters happily accept when someone suggests a snack, others feel pangs of guilt when a nibble is merely suggested. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals.

But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories?

Snacking doesn’t serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.

Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you know you are going out to a big dinner with friends later, for example, make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out so you’re less likely to order (and finish) a large entrée.

How You Snack Can Make or Break Your Diet
There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet because they are low in fat and calories. (Just be sure to avoid high-calorie dips.) Yogurt, fruit smoothies, even a slice of whole-wheat toast all make great snacks during the day. Combining lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer.

Mini Meals
Many experts are recommending several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the usual three. By eating at regular intervals, your blood sugar levels (and therefore your energy levels) remain stable. So, instead of that mid-afternoon crash, you’ll be full of vigor through dinnertime! Eating every few hours (especially if you chew on fruits and veggies) can also help add extra nutrition that might be missing from other meals.

Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many snackers. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your weight loss goals.

To avoid grazing:
Fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over.
Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating.
Limit yourself to a single serving.
Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead?
Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your diet, moderation is crucial when snacking. Make sure that you are adding every snack to your Nutrition Tracker, along with the larger meals you eat during the day. If you don’t keep track, you might add excess calories and fat to your diet without realizing it.

Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Denise Austin Says:

Diet Saboteurs?
Is someone in your life — your spouse, your mother, or a friend — secretly sabotaging your efforts to lose weight and get fit? There are many reasons it happens, from fearing you'll change if your appearance changes, to wanting to avoid facing their own weight issues, to feelings of jealousy.

If you learn to recognize it when it's happening, you'll be much less likely to derail from your goal! When a coworker who knows you're dieting brings in home-baked cookies, politely (but firmly) say no. When your spouse tries to talk you out of exercising to go get a burger and fries instead, offer to spend time with him or her after your workout — doing something besides eating. When someone makes a derogatory remark about how they think you've changed since losing weight, just chalk it up to envy rather than letting negative comments get you down! Bottom line — even if the changes you're making don't make everyone happy, give yourself permission to make them anyway! You're worth it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spark People

Have you herad of this site? I just want to tell you that it is a great site to get support for your weight loss journey. They have teams to join, challenges, nutrition trackers, fitness trackers, weight trackers and goal trackers. Honestly it takes a while to learn everything that is avaialble to you. You can do a little or a lot of tracking on this site. They have diet help, exercise help and just about any support you could need. I think you need to check them out... and guess what it is all FREE.. that's right no charge from them at all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten Walking mistakes to avoid.

Here is an articcle from good reading.:

Weigh in report

I weighed in last night. Only 1/2 pound loss. I was hoping for more. I had such a great loss last week. 4 1/2 pounds. I guess I shouldn't look for those bigger numbers every week. Have you ever made a graph of your weight loss progress? I have been doing that for my TOPS group. There is something to be said about seeing it in black and white over a period of time. I have not been happy with my own progress, but hopefully I am back on track with portion control and journaling. I need to get back to the gym. I missed all last week because of the little guy visiting., but I can't use that as an excuse this week. Fri is my gym day, so my goal is to get back there tomorrow. I have a big Stamp Class to get ready for on Sat, but I am going to make sure I take the time to go to the gym. Have great day everyone, and keep smiling. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Should you be drinking all that soda??

I just read an article about soda. I think I will not be drinking any soda anymore. I don't drink it very often but after reading this article I have decided not to drink any. You decide for yourself. :

My grandson has been visiting for the past week. No gym for me :( I will get back to that on Monday. I have really been working on portion sizes and not eating later in the evening. I do better when I keep track, so I will continue with that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Portion Control

I am always looking for ways to help others lose weight. Tonight at our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting, we talked about portion sizes. When was the last time you weighed and measured your food? I was in the hopital last week for a little heart scare. Everything is fine now, but something really caught my eye. The hospital food portions were a lot smaller than I had been serving myself. I had become a victim of Portion Creep! I thought I was pretty accurate in my servings, but I am not. I thought the suggestion at the end of the article was a good idea. I am going to do that this week and let's see what happens.

Healthy Living Articles
Making Sense of Portion Sizes
Many of us tend to underestimate the amount of food we eat and tend to overestimate the recommended portion sizes for many foods.
For example, try pouring out your usual portion of pasta and measure it! Then, compare it to the label portion size. Chances are, you're eating two, three, four or more times the amount on the label.
Relating the portion size of a serving to everyday items is an easy way to visualize what a true portion size looks like.
Woman's fist or baseball - a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
A rounded handful - about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta - this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
Deck of cards - a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don't count your fingers!) - for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
Golf ball or large egg - one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
Tennis ball - about one half cup of ice cream
Computer mouse - about the size of a small baked potato
Compact disc - about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
Thumb tip - about one teaspoon of peanut butter
Six dice - a serving of cheese
Check book - a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)
Eyeball it! - Take a look at the recommended serving sizes on the new USDA MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Get out a measuring cup or a food scale and practice measuring some of your favorite foods onto a plate, so that you can see how much (or how little!) a ½ cup or 3-ounce serving is. This will help you "eyeball" a reasonable serving!

Children need adequate calories to meet their needs for growth. On the other hand, portions that are too large could lead to overeating or seem overwhelming.
Serving small portions to young children is often the best way for them to learn to eat only until satisfied, instead of overeating. Start kids off with less and encourage them to ask for more if they're still hungry.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

more from Denise Austin:

Drink Your Daily Water!
If you're not a water drinker — well, tough luck! I know that may sound harsh, but drinking water every day is key to good health. Plus, your body is made up mostly of water — doesn't it make sense to replenish the good old H2O instead of filling up on soda pop or sugary fruit juices? Here's another doozy: Did you know that the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger? Before running to the nearest snack machine, try drinking a few glasses of water first.
So how much water do you really need? Well, a general rule of thumb is about eight ounces of water eight times a day, but there's no scientific evidence to support that recommendation. In fact, some experts actually recommend 13 glasses of H2O for men and nine for women! That may seem like a lot of water, but your body loses about ten glasses of water in the course of a day! And if you're exercising, pregnant, or breastfeeding, or you live in a hot or humid climate, your water loss is increased, so your intake should be upped!

So drink up — it's H2Ohhhh so good for you! Here's a tip: If you're having a hard time getting used to the taste of water, try adding a lemon wedge for a hint of sweetness.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SB Recipe

Green Bean and Squash Salad
Looking for a tasty salad that says summer? Try this quick recipe — perfect for a picnic or a dinner at home!

Green Bean and Squash Salad (Phase 1)

Serves 1

1/2 cup fresh green beans
3 fresh plum tomatoes, sliced
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Pinch of coarse black pepper
1/4 cup Newman's Own® Parmesan & Roasted Garlic Dressing
1/2 cup yellow squash, cut into slices
1 1/2 ounces fresh basil, chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl. Cover. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour.

Nutritional Information
300 calories
19 g total fat (5 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
12 g carbohydrate
16 g protein
3 g fiber
840 mg sodium

Monday, July 28, 2008

A fun activity to add to your exercise routine.

Dance Away the Pounds
Dr. Agatston recommends getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity most days of the week. The good news? You can work up to it if you're not there yet — or do it in smaller sessions (say, ten minutes each). He's also a fan of finding something you enjoy doing so that you look forward to your workout. Simply put, your fitness routine should become a part of your lifestyle, just like the South Beach Diet. That's why dancing is such a great activity — it gets your heart pumping while you have fun with your family and friends.

Dancing has come a long way since the days of discos. Dance studios across the country now offer classes suitable for adults, from swing to salsa to tap. Plus, many community and religious centers sponsor weekly dances where people gather to socialize and participate in a joyful release of stress.

Here are some suggestions for incorporating this enjoyable activity into your exercise routine:

Take your spouse or a friend to a swing club or community dance. A lot of clubs offer free 30-minute lessons.
Try a class at a local dance studio. Ballet can be great for increasing your flexibility and improving your balance. Tap requires an investment in shoes but offers an intense cardio workout.
Go out for a night of line dancing. Line dancing is most popular with country-music fans.
Afraid to dance in public? Put on your favorite album, turn up the volume, and take a spin around your house! Get your kids and spouse to join in for a fun family activity.
It's worth repeating that exercise shouldn't be a chore. One of the keys to creating a fitness routine you can maintain is to find things you actually enjoy doing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

SB Daily dish:

Plateau Problems?
While it may be frustrating, it is not uncommon to reach a plateau in Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, especially as you get closer to your target weight. Weight loss in this Phase of the South Beach Diet is much slower than in Phase 1, but that's fine in the long run since slow and steady weight loss is best for long-term success. That said, if you'd like to jump-start your weight loss, here are some strategies to try:

Try eating different foods. Sometimes people get into a food rut, eating the same things day in and day out, which may lead to overeating as a result of feeling unsatisfied with your routine. Add more variety and different veggies to your meal plan to combat boredom. This may be just what you need to get over a weight-loss stall.

Get adequate exercise. Enjoy a fitness program based on interval training, where you alternate between short bursts of intensive effort and easier recovery periods. When you work at a higher intensity for part of the time, you end up burning far more calories and fat in less time than you would if you were working out at a steady pace. This type of exercise will help you develop more lean muscle mass, which helps boost metabolism, in turn allowing you to shed unwanted pounds.

Keep track of what you eat. In general, the South Beach Diet does not require you to count calories or portion sizes. But you may be eating too much of certain foods to keep losing weight at the same pace.'s registered dietitians recommend taking a close look at the amount of nuts and low-fat cheese you're consuming and cutting back on these items if you're eating too much.
Our nutritionists are available for personalized weight-loss advice, so if you have specific questions about your progress on the South Beach Diet, foods to avoid and enjoy, your individual health, or weight-loss goals, then one-on-one counseling and support is for you! Click here to join today and take advantage of all our great offers!

Return to Phase 1. If you have plateaued for several weeks and still have a fair amount of weight to lose, it's fine to return to Phase 1 for a kick-start.
Finally, it's possible that your weight loss has stalled because you've already reached your healthiest weight — even if it's not your desired weight. If your cholesterol and blood-sugar levels have normalized, your desire to lose weight may be a matter of cosmetics. In this case, rather than focusing on the number on your scale, focus on how much better you feel and how much healthier you are.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stick With It says Denise Austin

Getting in shape isn't always easy — we all have lapses in motivation! So on those days when you want to throw in the towel, try a few of these tips from Fit Forever! members:

Set your eyes on the prize! Take a few minutes to visualize where you'll be in three months if you stick with it — and where you'll be if you don't!
Buy some smiley-face stickers and put one on your calendar each day you stay on the Fit Forever! Plan. As they build up, you'll see how far you've come and be less tempted to quit!
Shake up your routine — go for a walk in the woods instead of your usual route, or try a new workout tape!
If you're having a hard time staying motivated to work out solo, join a class or start walking with a friend! Knowing they're expecting you helps keep you going on days you'd rather not be there.
Find a recent photo of yourself at your current weight. Make a collage of photos cut out from magazines of how you'll look when you reach your target weight.
Remember: Each day you're on the program brings you one step closer to your goals. You can do it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Recipe from the Kraft Kitchen

Grilled chicken and veggies

Prep Time:
10 minTotal Time:
30 minMakes:
4 servings4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.) 1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided 1 zucchini, cut into chunks 1 red pepper, cut into chunks 1 cup chopped asparagus 1/2 of a red onion, cut into chunks PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Brush chicken with 2 Tbsp. of the dressing. Let stand 10 min.

MEANWHILE, poke holes in bottom of disposable aluminum foil pan. Toss vegetables with remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing. Place in prepared pan.

GRILL 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender.
Kraft Kitchens TipsUse Your Grill BasketOmit foil pan. Place vegetable mixture in grill basket. Grill as directed, shaking basket often. Creative LeftoversToss leftovers with hot cooked pasta for a quick Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Pasta.

See All Ratings and Comments BBQ Scalloped Potatoes Rated by visitors Nutritional InformationCalories 200 Total fat 6 g Saturated fat 1 g Cholesterol 75 mg Sodium 240 mg Carbohydrate 8 g Dietary fiber 2 g Sugars 5 g Protein 29 g Vitamin A 25 %DV Vitamin C 60 %DV Calcium 4 %DV Iron 10 %DV Healthy Living InformationLow FatLow CalorieGood source of vitamin A or CLow sodiumDiet Exchange1 Vegetable,4 Meat (VL),1 Fat

Nutrition BonusFire up the grill and enjoy this low calorie, low-fat dish. It's rich in vitamin C from the red pepper and the asparagus and red pepper team up to provide vitamin A.

Want to look your best this summer?

Get Your Beauty Rest!
The summer months can be packed with activities, visitors, vacations, and outdoor fun! But are you remembering to get your beauty rest? You need it to look and feel your best!

Be sure to slow down every so often this summer. Need some ideas? Try these:

Put a hammock up in your yard and watch the world go by
Take a stroll along the beach or river at sunset
Build a sandcastle
Relax in a lawn chair at twilight. Use all your senses to experience the magic of summer!
Catch a summer open-air concert at a local park
Take in a small-town parade
Take a nature hike and stop to admire the wildflowers
Walk barefoot in the sand
Go for a run through the sprinkler
Play a game of croquet
Host a barbecue with healthy grilled and low-fat treats

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New recipe from SB

Greet-the-Sun Breakfast Pizzas
Prep time: 10 minutes | Start to finish: 20 minutes | Serves: 4
Pizza for breakfast? Why not? It's especially tasty when topped with a sunny-side-up egg and veggies. Quarter or halve the recipe for just one or two pizzas, and try shredded part-skim mozzarella instead of feta, if you like.
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 ounces packed spinach (4 cups)
2 (6-inch) whole-grain pitas, halved horizontally
2 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (1⁄3 cup)
Enlarge Image Nutritional Information:
250 calories
13 g total fat (3.5 g sat)
21 g carbohydrate
13 g protein
3 g fiber
500 mg sodium

Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add spinach, in batches if necessary, and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
Brush inside of each pita round with 1 teaspoon oil. Place pita rounds, oiled side up, on a large baking sheet and bake until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Divide tomatoes and spinach evenly among pita halves, leaving an empty space in the center of each for an egg. Crack 1 egg into the center of each pita. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, return to the oven, and bake until yolks are lightly set, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until cheese has softened, about 2 minutes more. Serve warm.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Vacation is over

Now that my vacation is over, (I put on 7 pounds while I was away for the 5 weeks) it is time to get back on track. June and July have been tough for me. My cousin died. We grew up together and she is only two years older than me. My best friend from NY lost her husband to bladder cancer last month. Another friend is facing prostrate cancer. I am feeling a little scared now that people my age are beginning to die. I just turned 60 this year. I realize that life is short. We don't know the number of days we will have, but if I can prolong my own life by taking better care of myself, then that is what I plan to do. I joined a fitness gym last week. I met with the trainer and have a program planned out. I had my first real work out on Friday. Whoa! am I feeling it this weekend. I saw a lot of pictures of myself and have taken a really good look in the mirror and I have really got to work on this weight thing. I am carrying around way too much weight and I don't like what I see. I am going to be checking on Tami and I hope she will be checking on me. I am going to the gym that a friend of mine goes to, so I have someone expecting me to be there.I will keep you posted on how I am doing and I will continue to share the things I find on line as I try to get myself in shape.

Friday, June 13, 2008

something from SB

Daily Dish
Stocking the South Beach Diet Kitchen
Swimsuit season is finally here, so it's a fitting time to begin the weight-healthy South Beach Diet program. It's doctor-designed to help you boost your health while moving toward a healthy weight. The first step is to stock your kitchen with the essentials — some of these delicious foods you may already have on hand. If these foods aren't in your house already, it's time to head to the store and stock up! Here are the basics you'll need:

Eggs (or egg substitute if your doctor has recommended you reduce your egg consumption)

Fat-free or part-skim ricotta cheese

Tomato or vegetable juice cocktail

Low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

Lean deli meats, chicken or turkey breasts, fish, shellfish, or soy-based meat substitutes without breading that contain six grams of fat or less per three-ounce serving

No-sugar-added fudge pops and sugar-free gelatin

Extra-virgin olive oil

Nuts (without any added sugars)

Salad greens and other veggies, like cucumbers, celery, broccoli, and artichokes (skip the carrots, corn, and other starchy veggies until you enter Phase 2)

Salad dressing that contains three grams of sugar or less per two-tablespoon serving

Reduced-fat cheese sticks that contain six grams of fat or less per ounce.


Trans fat-free margarine

Condiments without added sugars, such as salsa, lemon juice, hot sauce, and extracts

Beans (canned beans are really convenient!)
Having a steady supply of these foods will help you create many delicious Phase 1 meals and snacks. Best of luck on the Beach!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

SB recipe

Daily Dish
Vegetarian No-Pasta Lasagna
In the mood for Italian fare? has delicious recipes for every Phase! Below is a delicious recipe — perfect for those in Phase 1. More than 1,000 others are available to members of!

Vegetarian No-Pasta Lasagna (Phase 1)

Makes 4-6 servings

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggplants
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 large yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise (optional)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (4 whole) roasted peppers
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
2 cups spinach (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in skillet and cook garlic and onion until they become aromatic and begin to brown. Add stewed tomatoes and 1 tablespoon dried oregano. Once tomatoes begin to bubble, stir in tomato paste. Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, cover, and let simmer lightly while you continue.

Slice eggplant lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices. Spread out eggplant on rimmed cookie sheets sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Salt the slices generously on both sides, sprinkle with thyme, and lightly brush (fingers are fine) with the remaining olive oil. Roast eggplant in oven until tender and slightly browned. If using yellow squash, also roast briefly until soft and pliable. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. Reduce oven to 375°F.

Meanwhile, stir together ricotta cheese, egg, remaining oregano, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. In a 12x9-inch baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. Cover with 3 or 4 eggplant slices, then half of the roasted peppers, and then a third of the ricotta cheese mixture, followed by a third of the mozzarella. Sprinkle half the basil over cheeses, and then spinach and yellow squash (if using). Cover with more tomato sauce, eggplant, peppers, ricotta, mozzarella, and basil.

Top with remaining eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and any remaining Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about 15 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information:
354 calories
12 g sugar
19 total fat (7 g sat)
67 mg cholesterol
35 g carbohydrate
17 g protein
4 g fiber
755 mg sodium

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Vacation!

I will be gone all of June. I may not post until my return in July. I will be checking every now and then. My biggest hope is to come home with no extra weight.
5 weeks is a long time to be away and I am worried about staying on track with all the visiting we will be doing. See you in JUly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some more advice from Denise Austin

Having trouble squeezing in your workout? Try these tips from other busy Fit Forever! members:

Set your alarm to go off a half-hour earlier than everyone else's, and get your workout out of the way first thing!
If a mad morning rush leaves you with no time, try getting everything ready the night before (including lunches packed and clothing set out).
Don't be afraid to delegate some household tasks to other family members and make time for exercise! You shouldn't try to do everything all by yourself.
Cut down on kitchen time by making double recipes and freezing half for a quick heat-and-eat meal another day!
Take your kids to a school or park and walk laps while they play or go on a bike ride together.
If you can't fit in one 30-minute walk, break it into three 10-minute jaunts throughout your day.
Tone up with fidgetsizes! Do butt squeezes in the elevator, leg lifts at your desk, leg squats while brushing your teeth, tummy tucks while watching the news, etc. Do what you can, when you can.
Think small! Even if it isn't a full workout, five or 10 minutes of movement is better than nothing!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Be sure to check out my other blog. Just click on the link. I have posted some pictures over there. I am trying to get re-focused for the summer. Hope you are all having a wonderful day.

new recipe for all you SB dieters

Vanilla Ricotta Crème
Serves 1

This recipe makes 1 serving but can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. For larger batches, use an electric mixer for a creamier texture.

1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package sugar substitute

Mix together the ricotta, vanilla extract, and sugar substitute in a dessert bowl. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Information:
178 calories
10 g total fat (6 g sat)
38 mg cholesterol
7 g carbohydrate
14 g protein
0 g fiber
155 mg sodium

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fast Food = Fat Food according to Denise Austin

It's no news that fast food is fattening, but is it one of the leading causes of childhood obesity? A study shows a startling connection between the amount of fast food kids are eating and the rise in child obesity.

Researchers from the Children's Hospital in Boston studied the lifestyle habits of some 6,200 children between the ages of 4 and 19 to determine what role, if any, fast food was playing in their weight. They were shocked to find that on any given day, one out of three children are eating a fast-food meal. That's a fivefold increase over statistics collected in a similar study during the 1970s!

The researchers also found that children today are eating fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than in generations past, while taking in far more fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates. The result? Those extra calories are adding up to an average gain of six pounds per child per year!

You can stop this trend starting with your child. First, limit the amount of fast food you and your child eat every week. Then, when you do visit a fast-food restaurant, encourage your child to choose healthier options, like apple slices over fries, milk over soda, and grilled chicken sandwiches over hamburgers and cheeseburgers. More and more fast-food restaurants are trying to smarten up their act by offering healthier choices, so encourage them by ordering fit food over fat food the next time you do drive thru!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Daily Dish" from South Beach

Grocery Shopping Secrets
If you're following the South Beach Diet, you're shopping for lots of fresh, nutritious foods. To get through the grocery store in a timely fashion, stick to the perimeter of the store — it's where you'll find fresh dairy, produce, meat, poultry, and fish. Most of the aisles in between have packaged goods, such as crackers, cookies, canned soups and vegetables, juices, etc. For more specific information on getting through the grocery store, check out our handy tips, below. (Unless noted, you can enjoy the following items on every Phase of The South Beach Diet.)

Produce. Load your cart with a variety of fresh, nutrient-dense, fiber-rich vegetables, like spinach, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots (Phase 2), and peppers. Beginning in Phase 2, stock up on fresh fruits, too, including apples, oranges, mangoes, pomegranates, melons, and berries.
Dairy. There are many items to choose from in the dairy aisle. For instance, eggs, part-skim ricotta cheese, and low-fat cheese are all considered excellent lean protein choices on the South Beach Diet. Low-fat and fat-free milk count toward your daily dairy requirement (two servings per day on Phase 1; up to three per day thereafter), as do low-fat and nonfat plain yogurt and artificially sweetened low-fat and fat-free yogurt (beginning on Phase 2). You can also find unsweetened or artificially sweetened soy milk (choose only those containing 4 grams of fat or less per 8-ounce serving) in the dairy aisle.
Meats/Fish/Poultry. Focus your attention on lean cuts of beef and poultry, which include eye of round, ground beef (sirloin, lean, and extra-lean), tenderloin, top loin, and top round, as well as turkey and chicken breast, pork loin and pork tenderloin. Fish and shellfish are also good choices. Get to know your fishmonger — you should aim to eat fish four times a week. (Limit consumption of types of fish that contain high levels of methylmercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.)
Frozen Foods. The frozen aisle offers quick-to-cook vegetables — perfect if you're up against the clock. You can also find soy-based meat alternatives in the freezer section. Look for those that contain less than 6 grams of fat per 2- to 3-ounce servings. If you have a sweet tooth, try frozen fudge bars with no added sugar.
Miscellaneous. Other foods to seek out from the middle of the store: nuts (avoid honey-roasted or sweetened varieties), canned light tuna fish, extra-virgin olive oil, sugar-free gelatin, vegetable juice cocktail or tomato juice, sugar-free diet sodas, and sugar-free drink mixes. Beginning in Phase 2, you can also stock up on whole-grain breads and crackers, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and low-sugar, high-fiber whole-grain cereals.

Monday, April 21, 2008

South Beach diet info

Daily Dish
Getting Started: Five Things to Remember
Whether you're getting ready to begin Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet or you've been following the plan for a while, truly learning the principles of this lifestyle — and incorporating them into your own meal plans and exercise routines — will help ensure your success. We've created this printable list for your reference. Hang it on your refrigerator for times when you'd like a reminder of the key elements and goals of the South Beach Diet. Then take a quick glance to refresh your memory.

The doctor-designed South Beach Diet focuses on selecting the right carbs (such as whole-grain breads, beans, and high-fiber fruits) and fats (like those from oily fish, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil).
You don't have to count calories or measure out portion sizes. Instead, you'll eat satisfying portions of wholesome foods, like lean proteins, colorful veggies, delicious fruits, and low-fat dairy products.
The South Beach Diet is flexible and easily accommodates individual tastes and needs. You can substitute the suggested meals with other choices that you prefer, develop your own menus with your family's favorite meals, or plan meals using the easy tools available on The South Beach Diet Online. Just keep to the principles!
The South Beach Diet is a long-term lifestyle, not a fad diet. This weight-healthy plan teaches you to make healthier eating choices and encourages regular physical activity — lessons you can use for the long haul.
Weight loss is only one of the many benefits of the South Beach Diet. The program has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by lowering total cholesterol, reducing unhealthy triglycerides (another blood fat), and regulating blood sugar levels. By adopting this weight-healthy lifestyle, you'll be on your way to living a longer life!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Need to get back on track AGAIN!

Eating to Lose from SB Daily Dish
While it seems harmless — and possibly even beneficial to weight loss — to skip a meal or a snack from time to time, this common scenario may actually be setting your body up to gain weight. How is it possible to gain weight by NOT eating?

The first goal of the South Beach Diet® is to eliminate cravings. Skipping meals and snacks causes exaggerated swings in blood sugar, which may encourage these cravings to return. This may cause you to splurge on unhealthy foods, thus reversing your weight-loss progress.
Skipping too many meals can prompt your body to go into starvation mode. In order to conserve energy and resources, your metabolism will start to slow down, ultimately causing your weight loss to stall.
So what should you do if you're just not hungry? Don't fall into the common trap of mistaking your diminished cravings for diminished hunger. If you're following the eating plan correctly — eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day — you probably won't feel as ravenous as you did in the past because you've managed to preempt hunger. If you avoid feeling hungry, you will avoid overeating, and you will be able to achieve and maintain your desired weight.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lift weights according to Denise Austin.

For years, the common knowledge has been that if you want to lose fat, you have to do aerobic exercise. But while it is in part true, that belief unfortunately led many women to think that they could skip strength training. A study changed that way of thinking.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics recently found that strength training — or weight lifting — plays a key role in controlling a woman's weight. They discovered that women who lifted weights just twice a week were able to avoid the slow, one to two pound weight gain per year that's so common in middle age. While that might not sound like a lot, over the years it can really add up. Another plus? Women who lifted weights had healthier hearts.

So how does lifting weights help keep you slim? It's simple — strength training builds muscle, and muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, 24 hours a day — even when you are asleep! So if you aren't already, make strength training a part of your fitness program. Your efforts will pay off for years to come!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

News from Denise Austin:

Wish your nails were stronger and healthier? Maybe you should start at the source — with some sound nail nutrition! Here's my recipe for naturally beautiful hands:

Make sure you're getting enough vitamin A, which fights dryness and brittleness in your nails. Good sources include dark green and yellow vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin), yellow fruits (like cantaloupe and apricots), and such animal sources as liver, low-fat milk, and eggs.
Prevent those white bands across your nails with plenty of protein. To cut the fat and still meet your nutritional needs, choose lean sources like skinless white-meat chicken and turkey, or fish.
Be sure you're getting enough folic acid (a B vitamin), as it helps fight hangnails. You can find it in leafy green vegetables, asparagus, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, melon, sunflower seeds, and beans, as well as folic acid supplements.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking lots of water every day not only helps you lose weight and feel full but helps your nails grow healthy and strong!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weigh in report

I lost 2.25 pounds this week. I had a good week of recording everything and of getting exercise in. I love the calorie counter It has made this process so much easier. I have always been more successful if I track what I eat. This makes it fun too!

We had to cancel our regualr TOPS meeting last night. We only did a weigh in, because we had so many absences that the three of us who did come decided to just have it a weigh in meeting.
I am off to Curves and then taking a walk in the park. it is a beautful day here in the Mountians. Have a great day everyone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I went !

Just got back from Curves. They had a recipe there that everyone was passing around: WARNING !! This is not low cal but hey how bad can it me it's got chocolate.
Personally I can't wait to try it.
Crockpot Chocolate Cake
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup water
3/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients together. Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Pour batter into crockpot and cook on low 2 to 4 hours. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.
'Eat at your own risk!

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