Monday, March 28, 2011

On Second Thought...

I am not "normal" so why should I think that I can go without the scale and calorie counting.  I will however try to only weigh myself once a week but I'll count calories and keep track of my water intake. My new goal is to be 180 lbs by my birthday May 26th.  I've done it before so I know I can do it. I feel good at 180. That is only 10 pounds but those 10 pounds can be very difficult but I am going to do it!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Some Changes

I am going to try easing up on scale watching and calorie counting and see how things go this week.  I am growing weary of the numbers on the scale and the calorie counting.  I have faithfully weighed myself nearly every morning for almost 2 years and I am starting to dread seeing what the numbers are. I am tired of the numbers dictating to me if I am going to have a good day or not.  If the scale is down = a good mood,  if the scale is up= bad mood.  It just isn’t fair to do that to myself everyday, especially when I am living a fairly healthy life and exercising.  I have eased up on my eating choices and have enjoyed some baking lately but nothing in excess.  I want to feel more normal.
How often do you weigh yourself?  Is once a week enough?

On a side note, I hope it isn't raining in the morning because I got new running shoes yesterday and I can't wait to break them in!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yesterday was a milestone day…

I have been waiting for the day that I could have my life insurance increased through my husbands insurance.  I had to have lost weight and kept it off for a year. Yesterday morning a lady came out from a 3rd party company to do a thorough physical exam to determine if I will be given life insurance. I now will have to wait a month to find out if I get life insurance  but I’m sure it will be fine.  Being self sufficient and prepared for the future is so important to me and a huge part of that is having sufficient life insurance so that if something happened to me my family would be able to financially handle things. It will be a great day when I get the acceptance letter from the insurance company. 

This has even a deeper importance to me because about 5 years ago I sat on the phone arguing with a man at the insurance company telling him that their weight restrictions were unrealistic and that it would be impossible for me to ever get close their standards.  Well, I’ve reached the impossible.  Now to keep going with my weight maintenance.  Everyday is a struggle and yesterday was tough.  I will make better choices today!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Have you ever woken up and…

just felt good about yourself.  Not for any particular reason but just happy with being you.  Happy with where you are in this life, doing what you are doing, being who you are being, making the choices you are making.  Today I woke up so content with myself.  I still have a miserable cold but I got up at 6am to go running with a couple ladies in the neighborhood and although it was tough with the cold air and being sick I kept up with a 9min 30 sec mile.  We ran 2 1/4 miles then I walked 3/4 miles.  I came home got right ready for the day, put on a new cute sweater from a dear friend Jenn (It’s so fun to get clothes passed on from friends.) and I even love what I see in the mirror.  The scale is staying pretty steady which is alright. (I’d love for the 10 pounds I gained from holiday eating and surgery to disappear but that will happen over the summer.) It feels great to have a “skinny” day on top of just being all around HAPPY.  I hope you have a happy day too!!!

 

This is the cute sweater that my friend Jenn passed on to me.  It is too big for her now and I’m so blessed that she passed on some of her cute clothes to me! Getting hand-me-downs from friends is one of my favorite things now.  (Hand-me-downs don’t happen when you are so much bigger than everyone else!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Healthier Graham Crackers

3 cups  whole wheat flour
1/4 cup  brown sugar
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons  butter

3 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons fat free milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

These still taste good but don’t compare the two side to side or these will disappoint you. These are down to 14 calories a piece for 140 crackers. Follow the directions on the original recipe below. Reduce baking time to 12 min.

Tsunami in Japan

I live in such a small bubble and did not even know of the devastation in Japan until I heard it mentioned on the radio this morning.  I have watched several videos of the powerful tsunami and the lives that have been lost.  My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan. I grew up with a good friend from Osaka, Japan. I hope all of her family is safe and accounted for.  The Earth is in such an unsettled state right now.  It is a good reminder to keep your food storage full and be prepared!

I’ve Overdone It, ouch!

I have had such a great time working out and playing with the kids hard at the park and riding my bike, as well as tonnes of crunches and pushups.  Today I am paying for it.  My stomach is swollen and my backside hurts to sit down.  I guess I better take things a little slower. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade Graham Crackers

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3 cups  whole wheat flour
3/4 cup  brown sugar
1 teaspoon  baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons  butter

In a food processor mix thoroughly before adding wet ingredients.


1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons fat free milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

The dough will be a little sticky. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray and place half of your dough onto the cookie sheet.  Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut to desired size. I used a pastry cutter. (Note: the dough will come back together during the baking so immediately after baking cut again along the same lines.) Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar or cinnamon if you like.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. Remove from pan while hot and break into squares.  They will firm up quickly and will stick to the pan if they aren’t removed right away.  Enjoy! 

This isn’t necessarily a “healthy” recipe but they are only 20 calories per cracker (the way I cut them there are 140 total crackers) and they taste like blonde brownies to me so I’ll enjoy them.  I did cut out 2 tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar and made it all whole wheat from the original recipe. Next time I make them I’ll see just how much I can cut out from the butter and sugar and still have them taste good.  I think they are DIVINE!!!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

1st Run of the Season… Glorious! and a little more…

I decided that while Jaimee was at Play School this morning I’d take advantage of my alone time and go for a run.  I haven’t run outside since November at the Turkey Trot.  I was a little nervous being just 5 weeks post surgery but I’ve kept up on my daily workouts only missing the actual day of surgery so I knew I could run but I wasn’t sure how slow I might be.  I was pleasantly surprised!  I ran a 5K (3.2 miles) in 33 min 30 sec.  Not fast but definitely not slow. My best 5k time is 29 min 50 sec last June.  I was so pleased with myself.  My best pace was 8min 30 sec mile but I averaged about an 10 min 40 sec mile.  Not too shabby for my first run of the season! The temperature was 40 degrees with a light southerly wind. I feel so ALIVE!!!

On another note I’ve been counting calories and drinking water like crazy (12-15 cups a day) for the past week and boy has it paid off.  I feel like my old self again after 3 months of being out of balance. I had to step on the scale several times this morning. 183.6 lbs!  I want to stay between 175 and 180 permanently so I am almost there again. YEAH!!! I took a few pictures to document my success and to show myself that I am still reaching goals and that my body still looks great. ( It’s crazy but I still have days were I feel big and not very happy with how I look.)

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I purposefully choose to wear the same clothes that I wore in my title picture of the blog when I was at my lowest weight (174.6 lbs) to compare and I am so pleased with how they turned out. My shirt and jeans are actually a little loser,  hummmm maybe I have been building muscle!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My favorite Drink Mixes

It is sometimes hard to drink enough plain water.  I have found a few mixes that I enjoy to keep my water intake where I want it to be. (12-15 cups/day) They do have artificial sweeteners in them which I am okay with. Another drink I have been doing lately is warm or cold water with lemon juice and splenda or truvia. Delicious!

I found these at Big Lots since I hate paying full price for anything.  I especially love the apple cider.  You can drink it hot or cold.  I like to add additional cinnamon, cloves and ginger but it doesn’t need it.  I add all of these to 24 oz of water rather than the 16.9oz they suggest to make it go further. The Special K mix is 30 calories the FulFill 0 calories and the Cider is 10 calories.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

I can even stretch these tips further…

Recipe Makeovers: 10 Commandments of Healthy Cooking

'The Recipe Doctor' shares her top recipe lightening tips.
(continued)

My 10 Recipe Lightening Commandments

  1. In most bakery recipes (muffins, cakes, cookies, coffee cakes, bars, brownies, nut breads, etc.) you can substitute whole wheat for two-thirds or one-half the white flour called for. Compared to 1/4 cup of white flour, each 1/4 cup of whole-wheat flour adds 3.5 grams of fiber and various phytochemicals, and doubles the amount of magnesium and selenium. The extra fiber helps slow digestion and increase fullness.
  2. In most bakery recipes, you can reduce the sugar called for by one-fourth – and sometimes by one-third -- without a big difference in taste and texture. For example, instead of adding 1 cup of sugar, you can add 3/4 cup. Or, if you like using Splenda, you can replace half of the sugar called for with Splenda (or a similar alternative sweetener approved for use in baking).This cuts the calories from sugar by 48 calories for every tablespoon of sugar you take out or replace with Splenda.
  3. In egg dishes (quiches, frittatas, omelets, breakfast casseroles), you can use egg substitute in place of half the eggs. In other words, if the recipe calls for six eggs, you would blend three whole eggs with 3/4 cup egg substitute (1/4 cup of egg substitute replaces each egg). You can replace half the eggs in bakery recipes with egg substitute as well. By replacing one large egg with 1/4 cup egg substitute, you'll shave 45 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of saturated fat, and 213 milligrams of cholesterol. If you don't like to use egg-substitute products, you can also use egg whites for half of the eggs called for.
  4. In many bakery recipes, you can cut the fat ingredient (butter, margarine, shortening, or oil) in half. In other words, if a cake recipe calls for 1 cup of butter or margarine, you can usually use 1/2 cup instead. Remember to replace the missing fat with a similar amount of a moist but healthy ingredient (fat-free sour cream, orange juice, low-fat yogurt, applesauce, etc.) This change cuts both fat and calories, since each gram of fat translates into 9 calories as opposed to 4 per gram for protein or carbohydrate.
  5. Cook with reduced-fat or fat-free products when available -- and when they taste good. Try fat-free sour cream, fat-free half-and-half, reduced-fat cheeses, light cream cheese, light mayonnaise, extra lean meat without skin or visible fat, reduced-fat or light sausage, less-fat turkey bacon, light salad dressings, and light margarine for frosting . Many cut calories and saturated fat along with total fat. A few fat-free products are in my arsenal as well: fat-free sour cream and half-and-half, chicken broth, wine, strong coffee, fruit purees, and fruit juice. These foods add moisture, and sometimes flavor, to recipes where you aren't using a lot of fatty ingredients.
  6. Never deep-fry when you can oven-fry or pan-fry with a lot less oil. Choose canola oil or olive oil, and use about 1/2 teaspoon per serving (depending on the item). When you pan-fry or oven-fry in a controlled amount of oil, you can cut a lot of the fat and calories your food would soak up if it were submerged in hot oil. For every tablespoon of oil you cut, you'll save 120 calories and 13.5 grams of fat.
  7. Use whole grains in your recipes whenever possible. We've already talked about whole-wheat flour, but you can also substitute brown rice for white rice, add barley to stews and casseroles, and look for recipes that call for oats. There are also multigrain blends and whole- wheat pastas to choose from in supermarkets now. Whole grains offer a plethora of health benefits, plus fiber to fill you up. One-fourth cup of dry brown rice contributes 2 grams of fiber and a 2-ounce serving of dry multigrain spaghetti adds 4 grams or more of fiber to your diet.
  8. Extra ingredients and embellishments can often be removed or cut in half. If a recipe calls for chocolate chips, you can use less. If it calls for dotting your casserole or pie with butter, you can skip this step. In a cake recipe, you can use half the original amount of frosting (in a double-layer cake, just frost the top and middle and forget the sides). And in some cakes, bars, and cookies, you can skip the frosting in favor of a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Using 2 tablespoons of frosting instead of 4 will shave 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. Each tablespoon of chocolate chips you skip cuts the calories by 50 per serving, the fat by 3 grams, and the saturated fat by almost 2 grams.
  9. Use top-quality ingredients when possible. Start with the best-tasting, freshest ingredients you can find. For example, I use fresh garlic (I buy it already minced in jars) and fresh herbs when I can -- they usually have more flavor than the dried. Use ripe tomatoes and just picked lemons for zest or juice, extra-fresh fish, the sharpest reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and so on. All this means your lighter dish will be more likely to pass muster with the masses!
  10. Switch to "smart fat" ingredients when possible. Certain fats, when used in moderation, actually have health benefits! Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and some plant foods like canola oil and ground flaxseed), as well as oils that contain monounsaturated fats (like olive and canola oil) and foods high in monounsaturated fats (like avocado and almonds) may help protect against heart disease. In recipes, you often have a choice of which oil or margarine to use. You can also add fish to some entree recipes instead of red meat. When a recipe calls for melted butter or margarine, you can often substitute canola or olive oil. Foods fortified with or containing omega-3s are starting to pop up in several aisles in the supermarket, including low-fat milk, eggs, and multigrain pastas.

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Old Pictures of Weight Struggles and Finally Success

IMG_0954IMG_08844yrsIMG_09622 yrs oldIMG_09645yrsIMG_09368 yrs oldIMG_095010yrsIMG_09636 yrs old

IMG_106913 yrsIMG_110314 yrs oldIMG_110115 yrsIMG_116212yrsIMG_1344IMG_086316 yrsIMG_077213yrs

 IMG_1175IMG_118511yrsIMG_102123 yrs IMG_1049IMG_122726yrs100_0076  30yrs000_000531yrs

100_236132nd Birthday

33rd Birthday100_3671

100_484034 yrs old

100_656535th Birthday

IMG_3993 (2)36th Birthday

half of me37th Birthday

No Bake Cookies

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Recipe created by Becky Jones

2 cups water
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup agave nectar

Bring these ingredients to a boil then remove from heat.  Add vanilla and then stir in oats.

2 tsp vanilla
5 cups regular oats

This recipe makes 60 small 1 tbsp size cookies.  They are nice and soft in texture and have just enough sweetness and a nice peanut butter/chocolate flavor to curb your sweet craving.  50 calories/serving

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 18 g
 
Amount Per Serving
Calories
50
Calories from Fat
17
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
1.9g
3%
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
Sodium
25mg
1%
Sugar
2 g
Total Carbohydrates
5.3g
2%
Dietary Fiber
0.9g
4%
Protein
1.6g

 

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% Iron 2%

It feels so good to SWEAT!

Last night for my workout I decided to do some interval training on the treadmill.  I would do a quick walk at 4 mph for 1/4 mile then jog 1/4 mile at 5mph.  I kept this up for 5 miles. What a good sweaty workout!!!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fully Recovered and Healthy

It has been a month now since my surgery.  I feel pretty much back to normal.  I even can start doing my stomach crunches and push ups again. YEAH!  I went and had my repeat blood draw done and the results came back normal.  I am so thankful for answered prayers.  There was a concern about my potassium and liver enzyme levels being very high the day of surgery but now everything is PERFECT!