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Get More Energy!

Last night I had a feeling the February 2011 issue of Fitness Magazine might be waiting in the mail box for me after I saw them post on Facebook that it was on sale this week and to my pleasant surprise I was correct!

After flipping through the entire magazine while my husband played the xBox next to me I settled in to read an article called Get More Energy! 

Which, caught my eye as I have been quite low on energy since after the Holiday’s.  =(  Due to various reasons listed below…….

  • Not eating as healthy as usual, more sugar/fat intake than normal.
  • Lack of exercise at the gym and less running.
  • Very busy at works towards the end of the year, plus some news that was a bit upsetting in the new year.
  • Stress on the home front.

It was a great article and I would love to share some of the Energy Boosting Tips I learned with you…….

  • Boost Your Brain
    • Instead of numbing your mind by watching the boob tube after work, stimulate it by “taking a walk” along a scenic trail – spending time in nature helps restore people’s energy and focus.
  • Avoid the Quick Fix
    • It is no surprise that the food on your plate can be the deciding factor between a sluggish and supercharged day!  But more often than not, you don’t need a total diet overhaul; “small adjustments” can go a long way towards optimizing your energy intake.
      • A small cappuccino, tea with honey and dark chocolate, all of which contain caffeine and sugar, are perfectly legitimate “Energy Band-Aids” when you need a lift in a hurry.
  • Stick to Your Workout
    • Get this: Expending energy on exercise actually creates more for you to use!  “Research shows that physically active people feel more energetic overall than sedentary people.”  They say it is likely that exercise stimulates neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, and this creates feelings of greater energy.
  • Listen Up
    • “Music makes you feel good mentally and physically.”  After people worked out to music, their mental performance improved, compared with exercising song-less.  Music gives you that extra motivation!
  • Quit Freaking Out
    • Little everyday stressors, like sitting in traffic, can cause a total energy meltdown.  Take a deep breath when little freaks out occur and try to calm your heart rate back to normal.
  • Tap Happy Vibes
    • When you’re feeling down, your energy tanks along with your spirits, leaving you sluggish.  On the flip side, “Happy people have higher energy”!  When we are happy we take charge, initiate conversations with people and carry out plans, instead of being passive responders to life events.  “Taking action energizes us”!

What great tips, huh!?!  And, even though I knew most of them or realized how true they are I have to admit I do not always follow them but plan to going forward as I needs more energy!!!

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In other news, I finally started taking pictures of what I have been eating again………..so take a look for your viewing pleasure.  =)

Breakfast (Tuesday)

Lunch (Tuesday)

Dinner (Tuesday)

Late Night Snack (Tuesday)

I have also gone outside for 3 mile runs after work on both Tuesday and Wednesday that lasted about 30+ minutes each. 

The weather was so nice both night and I was also lucky enough to have my daughter tag along on her new bike that she got for Christmas…….it was so nice to have her along.  =)

Stuffy Nose

I feel exactly like the below picture today, except I am NOT in my pajamas…….I am at work with a red nose and tissue in my hand & pocket  (literally)!  =(

Started to get a stuffy nose yesterday before I left work and still had one this morning when I woke up, luckily that is all I have though as I really am not feeling getting a Cold right now (pretty please, fingers crossed)!!!

Hopefully taking my daughters Immune Support vitamin gummies, drinking lots of orange juice, eating lots of hot soup and getting some R&R will get me back to normal soon………

Hot Soup

In the mean time the gym and running will have to be missed today in light of this as I don’t want to get worse by pushing myself.  However, let’s hope it is only “1” day missed and not more (again fingers crossed).

I really do hate missing the gym and running, especially around this time of year when I am eating a lot more but fortunately for me the scale was kind to me yesterday and I am staying where I want to right now.  =)

And, I have lots of reading to catch up on so I will be doing that during my absence…………as I need some new moves for the gym and I always get motivated by reading Fitness, Health & Shape Magazines as well!

In other news, we are experiencing a Cold Front here in Central Florida!

Would you believe that on Tuesday the High was 82 degrees and the Low was 66 degrees!?!?! 

Now, I know the above temperatures are really nice compared to the rest of the country right now, however as you can see on the Normal High & Low lines these temperatures are way below normal for us so it takes some getting used to…….espically after it being 20 degrees warmer just a few days ago.  =O

I love the cooler temperatures myself.  Only one issue though!  I have yet to buy som “winter running gear”.  So I need to do that right away so I can continue to run in the early a.m. before work or it will be treadmill city for me until it gets warmer.  Plans have been made to do so this weekend, budget permitting (again….fingers crossed)!

Since it was warmer earlier in the week I did manage to hit the pavement to do the below:

  • Tuesday (Early A.M.) – 2 miles in 25+ minutes
  • Wednesday (Early A.M.) – 2 miles in 20+ minutes

Recently I decided to change-up my Fall Running Training Plan and do the following in December:

DATES MON. TUES. WED. THURS. FRI. SAT. SUN.
11/29/10 to 12/5/10 GYM EASY RUN EASY RUN EASY RUN GYM LONG RUN REST
  2 miles @ 11:00 2 or 3 miles @ 11:00 2 miles @ 11:00   6 miles @ 12:00  
12/6/10 to 12/12/10 GYM EASY RUN EASY RUN EASY RUN GYM LONG RUN REST
  2 miles @ 11:00 2 or 3 miles @ 11:00 2 miles @ 11:00   6 miles @ 12:00  
12/13/10 to 12/19/10 GYM EASY RUN EASY RUN EASY RUN GYM LONG RUN REST
  2 miles @ 11:00 2 or 3 miles @ 11:00 2 miles @ 11:00   6 miles @ 12:00  
12/20/10 to 12/26/10 GYM EASY RUN EASY RUN EASY RUN GYM LONG RUN REST
  2 miles @ 11:00 2 or 3 miles @ 11:00 2 miles @ 11:00   6 miles @ 12:00  

Basically, I wanted to add in another run during the weekdays and try to do at least a 6 mile Long Run on the weekend in order to up my mileage to around 14+ miles a week and hopefully help ward off some of the pesky holiday pounds that are sure to appear this month!

Oh, and I also plan to hit the GYM on Monday and Friday’s if possible to do weight and core training.

I think I should be good if I can stay on track for the most part with my schedule, however I want to point out that I won’t come down too hard on myself if I don’t as it is the holidays and I am bound to get sidetracked or miss a day or two or more………it is what it is and you still have to live life and enjoy this my favorite time of the year!  =)

That is about it for now folks! 

I will try to check in later this week or after the weekend for sure…………..STAY WARM & HEALTHY!!!

Rain Drops

This morning I awake to Rain Drops on my window!

Rain Drops

But, that didn’t let that keep me from heading out onto the rainy streets for my early morning run…………

Though I will admit it made it much more difficult to get out of bed, the sound of it was so relaxing and just made me want to continue to snuggle in my nice warm comfy bed.  =(

Luckily, by the time I got outside the rain had dwindled to a light trickling so I didn’t get soaked.  However, since it took me a few extra minutes to get out of bed I had to cut a mile off my run so I only ran 2 miles in a little over 20 minutes.

Despite being a very short run it was a good one.  I didn’t feel sore or tired.  It would have been nice if I could have kept running but I had to get  home to wake up the little one and my husband so we could all get on with our “rainy day”.

P.S. – I also hit the gym for 60 minutes on Monday after work.  While there I did 15 minutes of abs and 45 minutes of upper and lower body weight machines.

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Let’s review my EATS so far this week…….WARNING, they aren’t the best as I have eaten way to much candy this week!  =O

Breakfast (Monday & Tuesday)

Lunch (Monday)

Lunch (Tuesday)

Lunch (Tuesday)

Dinner (Monday)

Dinner (Tuesday)

DESSERT EVERY NIGHT! =O

I am not a huge candy person! 

HOWEVER, around Halloween I can’t get enough of the stuff for some reason.  I plan to bring the last of the candy into work next week so I can stop picking through it every night.

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November/December 2010

Power Surge: The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

Post-Workout Benefits

Within One Day of Exercise…

You’re adding lean muscle. If you did a strength-training routine, your muscles are now starting to rebuild themselves and repair the microscopic tears that come with lifting weights, says Paul Gordon, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Physical Activity at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor. Preliminary research shows that women respond to and recover from resistance training faster than men.

Your heart is healthier. One sweat session lowers your blood pressure for up to 16 hours.

FIT TIP: A vigorous workout is especially heart smart. Go for a run, hop on the elliptical, or take a dance class and your LDL levels will be lower than if you went for a brisk walk, according to research from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

You’re a quick study. You’re super alert and focused post-exercise. That’s because a good workout increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, says Henriette van Praag, PhD, a researcher at the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.

FIT TIP: After a workout is the perfect time to memorize a speech or tackle a tough project. Your brain is operating on all cylinders then, studies show.

Within One Week of Regular Exercise…

Your risk of diabetes goes down. The more you work out, the greater your sensitivity to insulin. That, in turn, lowers your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Your VO2 max, a measure of your endurance and aerobic fitness, has already increased by about 5 percent, according to Olson. Translation: You can go a little harder and longer than you could before.

FIT TIP: Step up your routine and your results will be even better. People in a Canadian study who did six workouts of four to seven 30-second sprints followed by four-minute periods of recovery doubled their endurance within two weeks. Plus, you can burn more belly fat by doing intervals rather than keeping a steady pace, other research shows.

You’re slimmer. Cutting 500 calories a day through exercise and diet will help you drop one pound a week.

FIT TIP: We’ll help you boost your weight loss with an easy, customized workout and eating plan. Want to trim your lower body, lose 10 pounds, or flatten your abs?

Next Post:  Long-Term Benefits of Exercise

After Dinner Walk

Do you ever take a walk after dinner?

I DO!

Dog Walk

I take the dog for a walk every night after dinner (and dishes).

It is usually only a 15 minute or so walk, however it always feels good to get outside.  Especially now that the weather is so much nicer outside than over the summer, when I usually only made it outside for 5 minutes or so due to the heat and humidity.

This is something I only started doing after we got our dog, Peanut, two+ years ago.  At first I looked at it more as a chore, however now I look at it as a way to escape from the confines of the kitchen (where I spend most of my evening hours) into the fresh evening air…………

And, did you know an after dinner walk helps with digestion as long as the walking is slow enough and short enough — no sweating, hard breathing or long distances.

Now, of course this does not count as exercise by any means but in my eyes you can never go wrong with talking a nice walk around the block in the fresh air, as it is sure to help you feel better inside and out.

However, the following does count as exercise:

  • A 60 minute trip to the GYM after work on Monday!

In which, I did 15 minutes of abs (crunches, scissors, sides and leg push outs) and 45 minutes of upper and lower body weight machines.

  • A 20 minute 2 Mile Run before work on Tuesday!

I was a bit sore after my gym workout the night before but the run went smoothly and my knee did not hurt.  =)

November/December 2010

After reading an article in the November/December 2010 issue of fitness I have decided to return to the gym twice a week again for 1 hour after work each day, in which I will do abs and upper/lower body weight machines one day (Monday’s) and abs and upper/lower body core exercises the other day (Wednesday’s).

Why you may ask? 

What did the article say you may be thinking?

It said, “to supercharge your calorie-incinerating quotient, stregth-train a least twice a week“!  “It will charge your metabolism so that you’ll continue to burn calories for up to 38 hours, according to a study from Ohio University in Athens.”

And, since I am going to try my best to not gain weight this Holiday Season I thought it would be a good idea!

Of course I would love to try to lose some weight but if I am REALISTIC with myself and know that is not going to happen during the Holidays!  Just check out my Weekly Weigh In page to see how my attempt to do that worked last year………BIG FAIL.  =(

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My EATS have been very good so far this week but a lot of REPEAT dishes, you know me I am always On Repeat……..

 MONDAY

Breakfast

Lunch

One green pepper + one red pepper = a great lunch!!!

Snack

Ahhhh……….do I spy a Peanut Butter Cookie up there, why yes I do, and it was GOOD!  =) 

Unfortunatelly, for ME, I do not have a picture of the several spoon fulls of batter I ate later Monday evening in front of the fridge.  =O 

 
 

Dinner

 

Had the Montreal Red Chicken

that I made on Sunday for Dinner on Monday, YUM! 

It always goes good with rice and broccoli.

 
 

TUESDAY

 

Breakfast

Coffee

I had a 9am meeting on Tuesday morning that I could not be late for so I just grabbed lunch on the go after I got gas from the 7-Eleven

A medium cup of French Vanilla coffee as well as a banana (from home) and a Pumpkin Muffin was had and enjoyed!  This is the first time I have seen Pumpkin Muffin’s at 7-Eleven and I have to say it was pretty good, very moist and flavorful.

Lunch

Yet, more Stuffed Peppers for lunch, YUM!  =)

Dinner

And, one of my favorite repeat dinners……TACO’s.

Eat Well, Walk Often & Always Smile!  =)

Eat Better, Spend Less

Yesterday, the October 2010 issue of fitness magazine arrived in my mail box to my very pleasant surprise as I thought my subscription had expired……… 

October 2010

Over the course of the nighth I proceeded to read it cover to cover and found tons of great information and recipes that I want to share with you.

FIRST, let’s start with a great article I found titled Eat Better, Spend Less that provides tons of supersaver shopping strategies that will help you slim your body without shrinking your wallet.

Eat Better, Spend Less

Eat Healthy, Save Money

The average family of four in the United States tosses out about $1,350 in groceries every year, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of the new book American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It). “Fruits and vegetables top the list of most-wasted foods,” Bloom says. “It’s often because we forget what we bought. Things get pushed to the back of the produce drawer, and out of sight is out of mind.”

Shop a little smarter and you won’t have to trash good food or your hard-earned cash. And, as a bonus, you’ll boost your diet and your bank account at the same time. Check out these mega money-saving ideas before you hit the checkout line.

Smart Food Preparation Tips

Plan ahead.

The single best way to save at the supermarket is to map out your dinners for the week and shop with a list, experts say. Sounds like a no-brainer, but most of us don’t do it. That’s how we end up buying things we already have. Take a quick inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer so you know what you’ve got on hand. Then decide on the recipes you want to make for the week. Jot down the ingredients you need and head to the supermarket.

Shop for what’s in season.
The freshest foods have better flavor and more nutrients, and they’re also less expensive. In the off-season, try frozen fruits and veggies, which offer the same healthy benefits for low prices.

Veg out.

Go vegetarian one or more days a week and you’ll slash your grocery bill big-time. Angela Barton, author of the blog My Year Without Spending, says that since she and her husband switched to eating meat just a few times weekly, she saves 25 percent every time she shops. Swap beef and chicken for beans, grains, and eggs.

Grocery Shopping Tips

Stock up on superfoods.

Plenty of fruits and vegetables are both nutrient dense and inexpensive,” says Lauren Futrell Dunaway, RD, program manager at the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her best budget-friendly, vitamin-packed produce picks:

  • Bananas contain plenty of potassium as well as vitamins B6 and C.
  • Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C. Every cup of cooked, shredded cabbage that you eat provides 75 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of C.
  • Cantaloupe is high in vitamins A and C.
  • Carrots have more vitamin A than any other vegetable, and they’re rich in vitamins C and B6.
  • Greens, such as spinach and turnip, mustard, and collard greens, are full of vitamin A.
  • Honeydew melon is high in vitamin C.
  • Oranges and grapefruits each supply more than 100 percent of your RDA of vitamin C.
  • Plums are packed with healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Potatoes are a good source of vitamins C and B6 and potassium.

Downsize your shopping cart.

Don’t be lured into buying mass quantities of anything — whether it’s chicken, condiments, or paper products — at a warehouse store. It’s a myth that bigger is cheaper, says Joanie Demer, coauthor of Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey. Truth is, you’ll actually end up spending more.

Know when not to go natural.

People think that if they eat everything organic, they’ll be healthier, but organic butter and sugar have the same fat and calories as regular butter and sugar,” points out Jennifer Welper, executive chef at Hilton Head Health, a weight-loss spa in South Carolina. Plus, organic foods are often more expensive. When you’re choosing snacks, look for tasty, good-for-you foods that will fill you up for around 150 calories. A handful (about one ounce) of almonds, a piece of fruit, or a plain nonfat yogurt with berries is a much smarter choice than all-natural cookies or chips.

Simple Saving Techniques

Make a slick swap.

Yes, olive oil is heart healthy, but it’s also costly. Save it for when flavor really counts, as in salads, and use canola oil for cooking. “It’s much less expensive, and it gives you healthy monounsaturated fats as well as a dose of omega-3 fatty acids,” says Erin Palinski, RD, a nutritionist in Franklin, New Jersey.

Stick close to home.

You can find bargains on fruits and vegetables grown locally — and they’re typically treated with fewer pesticides, too. Go to farmers’ markets late in the day for the best prices. “Most growers will do two-for-one deals when they’re ready to pack up,” says Latham Thomas, a nutrition counselor and the founder of Tender Shoots Wellness in New York City.

Fish for good deals.

Despite the hoopla about fresh wild-caught salmon — which is rich in DHA, a type of healthy omega-3 fatty acid — it isn’t your only option in the sea. “All fish have DHA,” points out Mary Harris, RD, PhD, professor of food science and human nutrition at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “Some types have more than others, but the most important thing is to buy the kind of fish you like and aim to eat it once or twice a week.” Tell the clerk to throw in a marinade while you’re at it. Most grocery-store seafood counters will give you one free, but you have to ask.

Bulk up.

Check the bins in the bulk section of your supermarket for healthy staples such as almonds, oatmeal, grains, and dried beans. You can purchase the exact amount you need, usually for a lot less than the packaged versions.

Save time — and money.

The right equipment can cut your food prep and cook time in half, says Jill Nussinow, author of The Veggie Queen. That makes it a whole lot easier to create healthy dishes. Consider investing in these genius kitchen tools:

  • Food Processor: Make quick work of slicing and dicing and avoid the temptation to purchase precut veggies, “which can cost five to 10 times more,” Nussinow says. (About $135 for a nine-cup food processor at amazon.com)
  • Pressure Cooker: It cooks grains and dried beans in a flash. Think lentil soup in 20 minutes, start to finish. (About $60 at jcpenney.com)
  • Rice Steamer: Just set it and forget it. No more pots of boiled-over or burned rice. (About $40 at bedbathandbeyond.com)

3 Easy Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bill

Cut back on coupons.

“I’ve seen it over and over in my research: People buy things they wouldn’t normally choose, because they have a coupon,” says consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, PhD, coauthor of Gen BuY. “Cheap prices allow you to rationalize less-healthy purchases.” Ask yourself if you would want it without the coupon. No? Skip it.

Shop after you eat.

When you’re famished, you naturally crave the most calorie-rich foods,” Yarrow says. The next thing you know, you’re piling your cart with corn chips and doughnuts.

Leave the kids home.

As soon as you walk into the store, they start up: “I want candy/cupcakes/ice cream. Please, please, please!” Cue the tears. You end up buying more than you planned to. Have your husband watch them while you shop. Or trade babysitting time with another mom.

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I just loved the above article, courtesy of Sharlene K. Johnson @ fitness magazine as I can never get enough TIPS when it comes to eating better and spending less while doing so.

In fact, I have also posted my own information on this subject that I have learned through the years called Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping 101 that you might also enjoy!

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SECOND, I found ton’s of great recipes while reading the magazine last night that I can’t wait to try. 

In fact, I already added the ingredients for the below recipe to my shopping list I just made so I can have this for dinner in the near future, possibly Friday night.

Southwestern Pizza

Southwestern Pizza

Makes:                 3 servings

Prep Time:         8 minutes

Cook Time:        10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 – 12 inch 100% whole-wheat pizza crust
  • 1 cup prepared tomato salsa
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded reduced-fat 2 percent mozzarella
  • 1 ½ cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place crust on sheet and top with salsa, 1 cup mozzarella, beans, sliced red pepper and scallions.  Top with remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
  2. Place pizza in over and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.  Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro if desired.  Cut into six slices and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving (2 slices):  488 calories, 28 g protein, 72 g carbs, 12 g fat & 16 g fiber

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THIRD and last, but surely not least, I would like to share with you a few of the soups I know I will enjoy from an article named 7 Healthy Soup & Stew Recipes that I found in the back of the magazine.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
View Nutrition Facts

Ingredients

  •   Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4  6-inch  corn tortillas
  • 2  tablespoons  canola oil
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/2  teaspoon  oregano
  • 2    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1    green bell pepper, diced
  • 2    14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with jalapeño
  • 4  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  frozen corn
  • 1  pound  diced cooked chicken breast (about 3 cups)
  • 1  ounce  shredded reduced-fat cheddar (about 1/4 cup)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Stack the tortillas and cut into 1/4-inch strips; toss with 1 tablespoon of the canola oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the cumin and the salt. Place on baking sheet and bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a soup pot. Add remaining cumin and the onion, oregano, garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the corn and chicken; simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the cheddar. Top with tortilla strips.

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Turkey & Black Bean Chili

 

4 servings Cook: 23 minutes
Prep: 12 minutes
View Nutrition Facts

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1    green bell pepper, diced
  • 1  pound  lean ground turkey
  • 2    15-ounce cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1    14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1    14.5-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1  cup  frozen corn
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  tablespoon  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  teaspoon  oregano
  • 1  ounce  semisweet chocolate, cut into tiny pieces

Directions

In a soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Add the turkey and sauté 5 minutes or until no longer pink, crumbling the meat with a spoon as it cooks. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, chili powder, cocoa powder and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in the chocolate and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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If you would like to check out the remaining 5 soups & stews from the article check it out here 7 Healthy Soups & Stews.

I know I will enjoy both of the above very soon!

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In other news (personal news that is), I ate the following yesterday:

Breakfast

Usually, I am not a huge fan of  “plain” yogurt, however this morning it was VERY good once I mixed it with a diced peach, bran buds and a little sweetener.

Lunch

Now, I know it doesn’t look like much but after seeing what I ate next you will understand why I just ate the above for lunch.

YUM, Cake!!!

I had to cut something somewhere to fit in the above of course!  =O

Dinner

Dinner was had on a small plate last night. 

Not necessarily because I wanted too but but that was all the food that was left after cooking due to the fact that I only had 3 pork chops (thought I bought 4 but it was only 3 when I opened the package).

Pork Chop Prep

However, I had plenty of roasted broccoli and potatoes so I piled my little plate with tons of those.

Roasted Veggies

And, watermelon for dessert!

Dessert

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Well, I think I have supplied you with enough information and such for one post so I will be leaving you now…….however don’t forget to be on the look out for my next post that will be titled: How To Become A Fat-Burning Machine I promise you will learn a lot, just as I did when I read the information!!!

Calling All Former Yo-Yo Dieters‏

 

We are working on a piece for FITNESS about real life ways to cut the yo-yo dieting strings, and we need YOUR help. We are looking for women in their late 20s to early 40s who have lost and re-gained the same 5 pounds (or 20 pounds, or 50 pounds…) over and over, but are now successfully keeping it off and maintaining your ideal, healthy weight.

Whether you changed your relationship with food, took up a new sport, or found inspiration in your family, we’ll discuss what worked for you, share your tips with our readers, and potentially publish a picture of your fab self in the mag. 

Want to share your story and help other women get their weight under control? Please send the following to our writer, Kenrya at kenrya@gmail.com by Friday, March 19th(but the sooner the better!): 

First and last name:
Age:
City, State:
Phone Number (for research):
Email Address (for research):
Profession:
A brief summary of your yo-yo dieting experience:
How you cut the yo-yo strings once and for all: 

She will be in touch after she receives your email to discuss next steps. Thanks for your help! 

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On Tuesday, 3/16/10 I saw the above on Facebook and sent an email to Kenrya with my answers to the above! 
Today, I got a reply email from her that said the following.
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Hi, Laura.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. I love that you cut the yo-yo string using moderation and balance, not deprivation. I’d like to ask you a few questions to help me figure out if you’re a good fit for this article. Do you have a few minutes to answer them for me via email by Friday morning? After I take a look I might have to come back to you over the weekend for more info to complete the story. Does that sound like a plan? Let me know.  The questions are below.

Thanks again,
Kenrya 

Check out her questions and my answers below! 

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1. What is the most you have weighed?

At my heaviest I was 246 pounds.  I believe that I may have weighed more than that at one time, however the most I remember ever seeing on the scale was 246 pounds. 

2. When was that? How old were you?
 
That was “5 years ago”!  I was 28 years old. 

3. How much do you weigh now?
 
Currently, I weigh 143 pounds. 

4. How long have you maintained your weight?
 
Almost a year now.  I hit 146 pounds back in August 2009. 

5. How tall are you?
 
5 foot, 6 inches 

6. Why do you think you’ve had such a difficult time maintaining your weight loss in the past?

I have struggled with my weight since I was 12 years old and first realized I was overweight by about 15-20 pounds at the time.  That is when I started my first diet and started running/biking to burn calories.  I lost the weight but not even a year later it started to creep back on and my up & down cycle started and continued for years.  For me it was mostly “insecurity” and “emotions” that played a part in my Yo-Yo dieting as I would do good for a long time by dieting (eating healthy) and exercising (running, weight lifting, etc.) and then something bad would happen in my life and I would turn to food for comfort.  That is the exact reason that led me to gain 100 pounds.  It wasn’t until June of 2008 that I finally made permanent changes in my life and stopped my Yo-Yo dieting, which is almost 20 years after the entire cycle began! 

7. What made you decide to embrace moderation over dieting and deprivation?
 
After almost 20 years of Yo-Yo Dieting (going up and down in weight) I had finally had enough!  I was sick of losing and gaining.  I knew I could lose the weight but I knew how I was doing it up to that point wasn’t working as I would always end up gaining it back.  So in June 2008 I decided to “stop dieting”, start eating healthy as much as possible and in moderation and stick to a regular exercise (running & weight lifting) plan weekly.  

8. How, specifically, have you changed your eating habits?
 
I eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and lean protein as much as possible.  I limit what I call “bad” carbs, items high in sugar, “bad” fat and rarely eat Fast Food or drink Soda.  I cook as much as possible and always bring my lunch to work.  I cut my portions in half (eat on smaller plates) and eat little meals often in order to keep me from getting hungry and going after bad food choices.  I also found that educating myself on the nutritional value of foods and trying new healthy recipes keeps me motivated. 
 
Here are some examples of what I eat now:
 
Breakfast 

  • Instant high-fiber oatmeal (single serving size) with fruit, nuts & flax seed mixed in or a piece of fruit on the side
  • Whole-wheat frozen waffles (2) toasted with a tablespoon of peanut butter, ½ a sliced banana and a drizzling of syrup on top with orange juice
  • One serving size bowl of high-fiber cereal (Multi-Grain Cheerios, FiberOne Raisin Bran, etc.) with 2% milk and a glass of juice or a piece of fruit
  • Homemade frozen mixed berry smoothie made with milk & ice
  • Toasted whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and fruit on the side
  • A two egg omelet with tons of veggies (mushrooms, onions, peppers & tomatoes) and light cheese

Lunch 

  • Tuna/Peanut Butter on one or two pieces of high-fiber whole wheat bread with carrots, pickles & fruit on the side or frozen veggies
  • A medium size chef or chicken salad with tons of veggies (romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and peppers), beans (red, black or garbanzo beans), egg, sunflower seeds, a few croutons, a pinch of cheese and a little ranch or Italian dressing on the side
  • A bowl full of homemade vegetable soup with low-fat beef or hamburger & beans added and whole-wheat crackers on the side
  • A small plate of humus and whole-wheat pita crackers with a small side salad or raw veggies on the side and a piece of fruit
  • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea

Dinner 

  • Whole-grain taco shells with lean taco meat, lots of shredded romaine lettuce, diced cherry tomatoes and a little cheese with yellow rice mixed with black beans and salsa on the side
  • Small bowl of whole-wheat pasta with lean hamburger meat & marina mixed together on top and a side salad
  • Marinated lean pork loin with ½ a baked potatoes and vegetables (asparagus, corn, broccoli or cabbage) on the side
  • Homemade whole-wheat pizza with tons of veggies (mushrooms, green & red peppers, onions and tomatoes) and thinly sliced pepperoni and a small amount of cheese sprinkled on top
  • One serving size of pot roast with baby carrots & potatoes and a small salad
  • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea

Snacks 

  • One small serving size container of high-fiber and active culture yogurt with a tablespoon of granola and a handful of fresh berries
  • A small piece of homemade chocolate chip, walnut, raisin & flax seed granola and a fruit
  • A handful of whole-wheat pita chips and a scoop of humus and raw veggies
  • Occasionally a small cookie, piece of cake/pie or a small bowl of ice-cream

9. What foods did you used to overindulge in (and cut while dieting), that you now let yourself have a little of?
 
For me it was mainly “Fast Food”!  I ate it often, almost everyday when I was at my heaviest and I could polish off a whole key lime pie on my own in a week, which I did a few times.  =O  I also would eat very large portions of whatever I was eating.  I wouldn’t just have one donut I would have 3, or 2 tacos I would have 3 plus a buritto from Taco Bell. 
 
Below is a list of what I typically ate while I was at my heaviest:
 
Breakfast 

  • Several servings (bowls) of cereal high in sugar
  • Fatty bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches several times a week
  • Large muffins or pastries
  • Hardly ever ate any “fruits”

Lunch & Dinner 

  • Cheeseburger, fries & coke
  • 3 tacos & a large burrito
  • Large portion sizes of pasta (lasagna, spaghetti, etc.)
  • Frozen Pizza’s or Pizza Bites (unhealthy versions, not Kashi)
  • Large salads with lots of cheese, croutons & fatty dressing  
  • Basically “large” portions of whatever I ate!!! 

Snacks 

  • Baked goods (donuts, cookies, cake & pie)
  • Chips 
  • Ice cream  
  • Soda (large glasses)  

Prior to my “huge weight gain” I would pretty much eat the same way when I wasn’t dieting I just didn’t eat as much and that is the only reason my weight wasn’t in the 200’s at that time in my life.
 
10. Why do you think practicing moderation over deprivation has helped you be successful in your weight loss?
 
Because “deprivation” only makes you want what you are keeping from yourself more and when you do finally give in and have it you will eat it and then some!  Thus, why after losing 50 pounds in the past I would in turn gain back more than half of it because I felt so deprived and when I finally gave to my carvings I couldn’t stop them and the weight creeped back on.  This happened to me several times over years.  Once I finally realized what was happening I stopped the vicious cycle, started eating healthy & in moderation and never felt deprived again! 

11. How have you applied the idea of moderation to your workout regimen?
 
Yes!  I used to feel extremely guilty if I missed a work out or run as I was afraid if I missed a work out or two that I may fall off the wagon so to speak but over time I realized that I was stronger than that and missing a day or two or even a week wasn’t going to kill me or throw me back into my old habits and I started looking at my workout regimen just as I look at food. 

12. What role do you think making lifestyle changes has played in keeping the weight off?
 
A HUGE ROLE!  In my eyes you can diet to lose the weight but you have to change your lifestyle in order to keep it off and ultimately be healthy, which is the most important thing to me as I don’t just want to be at my ideal weight I want to be healthy to and a good role model for my 9-year-old daughter.  I don’t want her to get stuck in the Yo-Yo Dieting cycle like me, I want her to learn healthy habits that she will have for life. 

13. How do you feel now that you’ve lost the weight and kept it off for so long?
 
GREAT!  I almost don’t believe I did it at times as I was obese for so long (6+ years) and struggled with my weight for so many years before that I thought I would never lose it all or be where I am at today.  But, I finally realized that it was possible, I just had to believe that and do it! 

14. What is the best thing about being at a healthy/ideal weight?
 
Being a good role model for my daughter, feeling comfortable and not having others look at me differently because of my weight!  

15. If you could offer women just one piece of advice to help them cut the yo-yo string for good, what would it be?
 
The only true way to lose weight, maintain your weight and be ”healthy” is to CHANGE YOU EATING HABITS & LIFE STYLE COMPLETELY!!!  Otherwise the weight will creep back on eventually, take my word for it I know this from lots & lots & lots of experience!!!   

___________________ 

Well that was a lot of writing above!  

Why don’t we move on to some pictures, some “food” pictures………=) 

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

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TIPS OF THE DAY!!! 

 

50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day 

 

41. Head for the nearest hill. Go sledding with the kiddos for 1 hour and 5 minutes. You’ll burn 500-plus calories. 

*Might be a bit late for this one in some parts of the country, but it is a good tip and a fun one at that! 

  

  

42. Do an hour of circuit training and you’ll burn 544 calories. 

*I love “circuit training” as it is a great full body workout!