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Week 17 Review – Week 18 No Stones

     I am now over 1/3 of the way through the year and half way to my goal. This past week was a particularly difficult one. There has been a lot of stress and change in my work life and I am exhausted. I got in 6 of my 10 miles and 2 of my three toning sessions. Calorie consumption was up averaging around 1700 calories a day, still with a focus on healthy choices. No time for adventure this week.

     I have decided to give myself a vacation. Next week there will be no counting or documenting, I really need a break from the over structure my life has been over the last few weeks. I will then return to you with gusto for week 19!

Dr Oz’s Shopping List

     Recently my precious mother-in-law passed along a printout with a list of 99 foods Dr Oz recommends for dieters. If, like me, you are not just looking to lose a few pounds but also to eat healthier this is a great find! I was impressed with the selection and choices. On the list you will find healthier options from brands you already know like Bryers, Barilla, Chiquita, Arnolds, Orvil Redenbacher, Snyders of Hanover, and Tostitos. In addition you will be introduced to brands that might be new to you if you weren’t previously pursuing a healthier lifestyle. These brands, dedicated to making foods that fit a healthy lifestyle include Kashi, Annie’s, Amy’s, Health Valley, Pacific Organic and more. I’ve decided that I want to try each item on the list. I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts on these dishes and to hearing your optinions on each that you have tried. Happy and healthy dining to you!

Click here for your full sized printable list.

Infertility Awareness

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     When I found out that this was National Infertility Awareness Week, I felt strongly that I should take the time to acknowledge it in this blog. Why address infertility in a weight loss blog? Because this is an issue that many of us in the weight-loss fight have faced, and in fact has been one of the biggest motivating factors in weight loss for some of the most powerful success stories I have ever heard.

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     I’m hesitant to try to speak on this subject. Since being diagnosed with PCOS in my twenties I have become increasingly aware of the prevalence of infertility and the devastation it leaves in its wake. I have known countless couples who have struggled to conceive and I ache just thinking about the unfulfilled longing this creates. The good news is I also know many for whom that longing has been fulfilled. For some, like myself, God provided children in our lives through other means such as adoption, fostering, and step-parenthood. For others, children were born into their lives after long struggles that ended in success with IVF or surrogacy. Still others were able to work closely with their fertility specialists to make positive changes in their health and circumstances and have children born miraculously into their lives. I personally know several women who were told they were unlikely to conceive, but as a direct result of weight loss and health improvements they were able to reverse PCOS and have seen their dreams come true. This is the reason I think it is important to take a moment in this weight loss blog to recognize the problem, send love support and prayers to those  in the battle, and address the love and care those individuals need and deserve.

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     There are many causes of infertility. Please don’t think I am trying to make it all about weight. However, that said, there are many of us for whom weight was a direct factor. In addition to issues like Polocystic Ovarian Syndrome, recent research is showing that for some weight might be more of a factor than we realized. A study  led by Dr. Van der Steeg, a medical researcher at the Academic Medical Center in The Netherlands, shows that even women who experience little or no irregularity with their cycles but who have  a high Body Mass Index have a lower than normal chance of becoming pregnant. In fact, they found that the more overweight a woman was, the lower her chances of becoming pregnant.  The obesity epidemic in our country may be affecting us in more ways than we realize.

     Please take a few moments to visit the link below and learn how to be sensitive and supportive to those in the fight against infertility. If you yourself are suffering, please know that there is help and hope and we in the Slimdown With Sandee support group are here to encourage and support you in any way that we can. May God’s blessings travel with this blog and be upon each reader as we take the time to mourn losses, rejoice in successes, and continue in hope.

Click here to learn more about how to lend your love and support.

Eat Better America

    

     You and I aren’t alone in wanting healthier lives for ourselves and our families. More and more families are looking at the state of their health and weight and becoming disillusioned with their traditional american diets. Some of the larger food companies are really beginning to take notice and are working to reach out to the increasingly health conscious consumer. Among those companies  is General Mills.  With favorite brands such as Green Giant, Muir Glen, Cheerios, Yoplait, and Canadian Farms  in their product line General Mills is a household name and makes products that many of us already love and trust. Now they are going one step further in developing a web community targeted at our growing health interest – Eat Better America. Here General Mills own experts from Bell Institutes of Health are partnering with experts from Men’s Health, Prevention, Runner’s World and Rodale to bring consumers easy to understand health and nutrition information, delicious “healthified” recipes, and even added savings on healthy options.  Visit eatbetteramerica.com to check it out for yourself. Don’t forget to print your money-saving coupons and maybe a new healthy recipe or two. Sign up for their newsletter to get info and savings delivered directly to your in-box.

Weigh-In and Make A Difference

      If the scales aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like though you are watching what you eat, you might consider upping the exercise. 

      In a previous post “Move Me” we disscussed how supporting a cause through our physical efforts can encourage us to move more and lose weight faster. Whether you have walked to raise money for breast cancer research, Zumba’d for M.S. awareness, or ran in a local 5k to help stock the shelves of a local food pantry you likely already know how motivational helping a great cause can be in getting you going.

     Bumble Bee Tuna is now offering you the opportunity to raise funds for your choice of great causes even if you are moving in your own home.  Join Beewell For Life and when you log the miles you rack up running, walking, or biking Bumble Bee will contribute to the Diabetes Association, The National Breast Cancer Orginization, or The National Coalition For Women With Heart Disease . You earn 3 points for every mile and Bumble Bee donates 10 cents for every point. Want more ways to contibute? Log your calories consumed or complete daily health challenges like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

     Since part of my motivation to lose weight was my determination not to let my diagnosis of insulin resistance turn into type two diabetes, I have chosen to log miles in support of the Diabetes Association. It feels good to know that 30 cents will be donated for every mile I walk or run!

     While you’re on facebook each week reporting your weigh-in numbers to the Slimdown With Sandee Group, you can also report miles you’ve moved through the beewell for life program application and support great causes. Sign up today to make your miles count.

Eat More Slowly And Lose Weight With These Tips

    

     A USA Today article from October 2011 pointed out that researchers from the University of Rhode Island recently concluded that people who eat slowly tend to consume fewer calories and weigh less than those who eat more quickly. So slow it down. “Eating slower allows fullness and enjoyment to register in the brain before too much food is consumed, ”  says researcher Kathleen Melanson. So eating more slowly is important to not over eating.  Here are some ways to slow it down.

1. Eat with your non-dominant hand. You will be a little less adept at this and will naturally be more mindful of your eating.

2. Eat using chop sticks. Unless you are already a pro this can be a slower way to eat and a fun new experience.

3. Practice mindful eating (see Deprivation Isn’t Sexy for details). Become meditative in your eating experiences learning to savor each bite, take notice of flavor, texture, and experience.

4. Eat with friends. Chatting between bites slows down the process and allows you to spend more time at the table with less food intake. Try to choose friends who are not fast eaters or overeaters.

5. Cut your food into smaller bites, chewing each bite well and really savoring the experience. Make sure you have chewed and swallowed completely before moving on to the next bite.

6. Set a timer for 20 minutes and work to make the dining experience last throughout the entire time set. “”If you are eating for 20 minutes at 100 calories a minute, that’s a lot. But if you are eating for 20 minutes at 20 calories a minute, that’s not a lot, and it gives your body time to realize it’s full.”  According  Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat , 20 minutes is the time required for the brain to interpret the satiety signal and know that you are full and satisfied.

7. Eat fiber rich foods like apples, pears, carrots, broccoli and air-popped popcorn. Not only are these very filling but they can take more time to chew.

8. Take a drink of water between each bite. This will not only slow down the process, it will help make sure you are hydrated, and help you feel more full.

9. Put down utensils between bites to make sure you are concentrating on savoring each taste. This will automatically signal you to slow down and you will have to take the time and attention to pick up the utensils to start again.

10. Count as you chew each bite at least 15 times.

11. Eat in the dark or with eyes closed. Food takes on a whole new level of experience when you deprive your sense of sight.

12. Serve yourself only a very small portion. This way you will have to take the time to get up and serve yourself more before moving on and will be less tempted to rush through the bites on your plate.

13. Concentrate on proper etiquite. With your attention on proper behaviors slowing down will naturally result.

14. Set the mood with slow music. The music will set the pace for your fork.

Picking Low GI Foods That Are High In Fiber

     A March 2011 article cited Danish research that found that dieters who got up to a quarter of their calories from protein like lean meat and beans and most of the rest of their calories from low-GI carbs lost an average of 22 pounds in just a few months.

     We have discussed previously that it can be confusing trying to pick the right “good carbs”. I recently read a piece at livestrong.com that helped outline some foods that are low on the Glycemic Index and good sources of much needed fiber. Foods high in fiber allow you to more easily feel full on fewer calories, in addition to many other health benefits.

     In the grains and starches catagory they reccomended oats, oat bran, brown rice, barley and cereals with psylium fiber.  For low GI fruits and veggies they recommended oranges, grapefruit, apples, bananas, pears and berries as well as sweet potatoes, carrots, corn and squash. Beans, peas, lentils and nuts are also good sources and research associates a high consumption of these with improved blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes as well.

     As you plan your week’s menu make sure you aren’t shorting yourself on fiber while trying to avoid over consumption of “bad carbs”. It’s believed that a good protien and low GI carb balance helps dieters feel full longer and helps prevent hunger spikes that lead to overeating.

Play the video game for a fun way to learn more about the role of fiber in weight loss.

Watch for some great reccomendations of pairing fiber and protein for better health and weight loss.

Stepping Stones For Week 17 – Week 16 Review

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      As we begin week 17 I’m feeling pretty good about things. Less than a third of the way through the year and I’ve already lost almost half the weight planned for the entire year. With around 21 more pounds to go and 8 months left I feel confident that I will reach my goal. That said, I’m not ready to rest on my laurels. Quite the opposite in fact. The closer I get the more anxious I become to meet the goal soon.

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     This week’s efforts went well. I ate a daily average off 1557 calories, that’s 25 under goal. I got in all of the exercise planned and more. I did 10 miles, 4 toning sessions, 80 minutes of hula hoop, 20 minutes of jump rope, and 20 minutes of modified handball. My fitness adventure this week was a really fun 1 1/2 hour game of frisbee with my hubby. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the park and some fun time together while being active and getting plenty of sunshine.

     Foods I loved this week? Salads! We enjoyed trying several bagged salads. Dole Baby Spinach Spring Mix With Grape Tomatoes was among my favorites.  I also really like Dole Perfect Harvest with dried cranberry and diced almonds. I didn’t love the dressing provided with this one, so I substituted Ken’s Fat Free Rasberry Pecan Dressing at just 50 calories per serving. I think my favorite salad kit may have been the Kroger Fresh Selections House Bacon Ranch. It was really yummy and had a variety of ingredients in just the right amounts to still be a good low calorie choice. At 160 calories per serving I was able to enjoy a little ranch dressing, a few croutons, a little cheeese, a little bacon, and a generous helping of fresh raw veggies.

     A couple of new salad add-ins we enjoyed this week were  Athenos feta chesse with basil and tomato and kroger salad shrimp from the forzen foods department. I love feta cheese in a salad anyway, but with the addition of the tomato and basil I was able to use less dressing and still get plenty of flavor. It’s a really nice touch. Ken’s 70 calorie Fat Free Sun-dried Tomato Vinigerette is one of my favories and it great paired with this, on even the simplest salad.

     I was excited this week to find Kroger’s Frozen Cooked Salad Shrimp available in small 3 0z bags listed as a 1.5 serving size. I found these to be enough to nicely top two to three salads. I have succesfully tried both ranch and Italian dressings on shrimp salads and enjoyed them, but am still looking for a winning dressing combination. Any suggestions?

     This weeks stepping stones are unchanged. Feeling successful I will stick with the plan!

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Stepping Stones for Success – Week 17

 

Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will continue to limit my daily caloric intake to 1600 calories, focusing on good nutrition in my choices. I will continue to speed walk no less than 10 miles during the week and include at least three combined toning and cardio exercise session.  I will also have 1 additional “fitness adventure” of 20 minutes or more.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

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To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. Speed Walk a Total of 10 Miles

7.  3 or More Toning/Cardio Sessions (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. A Random Fitness Adventure of 20 minutes or more.

9. Give myself 3 “Get Out Of Diet Guilt Free Cards”.

10. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

11. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

12. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

13. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

14. Contine reading SouthBeachDiet

15. Hoola- Hooping For Fun And Fitness (See Hoola-Hooping Workout)

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Daily Log

Morning Weight: ______           Evening Weight: ______

 Omega 3?  Yes / No   Chia?  Yes / No     Raspberry Ketone?  Yes/No

Servings Of Dairy:   ——–      Servings Of Grapefruit: ____

Did You Do Daily Affirmations? Yes / No

Did You Use Aromatherapy? Yes / No

Bedtime:  ——————               Wake Up Time:  ———————

Did You Eat Frequently (Approximately Every Two Hours Until After Dinner)? __________

Did You Complete Cardio In Miles or Minutes? ___________________________

Did You Complete Toning Exercises? _________________________________

Did You Drink at least 64 ounces of Water? ______________________________

Total Calories Consumed:_________

Foods Eaten

Breakfast:

Snack

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Snack

The Role of Nut Butters In Your Diet

    

     Most of us are very familiar with Peanut Butter, it was certainly a staple in my lunch box growing up, but these days there are lots of other delicious nut butter options available as well. These pleasingly creamy products made from cashew, almond,  or even macadamia nuts can be found in health food stores and also the whole food departments of your local grocery. These ground nut products can be a convenient source of hunger busting vegetable protein and mono-saturated fat for weight and health conscious individuals. It’s  important, however, that we chose nut butters that are more than just yummy, we want them to be a beneficial part of a healthy eating plan.

     What factors should be considered in chosing a nut butter? Look for products that are listed as all natural or organic. Avoid trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and high sugar or sodium content.  In natural butters the natural oils will rise to the top.  Don’t be alarmed, these are healthy unsaturated fats. Just mix them in well and enjoy in moderation. Nut butters should be treated like a condiment, being eaten by the spoonful not the cup, using no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. The calories from nut butters can add up quickly if not used in proper portion sizes.

     Try enjoying your nut butter in fun new ways. Opt for whole wheat bread or crackers when making a sandwich. Eat it on veggies like celery, carrots, or asparagus. Eat it with fruit like apples or pears. Mix a spoon full into your morning oatmeal or smoothie. Use it to make a sauce for chicken, whole wheat pasta, or veggies to give them a new twist.

Click here for your recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli and Peanuts from Eating Well.

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