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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 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.

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