More on Planning

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I  mentioned in a previous blog the importance of planning. If you fail to plan, than you will plan to fail. I take full advantage of my weekends by prepping my meals for the week. If you keep it simple, you can put together a few meals in no time.

I saw a simple mini frittata recipe on an episode of Dr Oz.   Normally, boiled eggs are my go-to items for breakfast. I thought the frittatas would be a nice change. So, I made them this past weekend and they turned out great. You can make a dozen of them, freeze them and microwave them as needed.

 You can choose any ingredients you like for your frittata. It’s like making an omelet; there are so many varieties you can make.

 My frittata recipe consisted of:

Eggs (I think I used about 10 )

Chopped fresh spinach

Red and green bell peppers

Onions

Mushrooms

Hot sauce

Milk

 I whisked all of the ingredients and poured the mixture in muffin tins (prayed with oil) and bake them for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

 My recipe made 16 frittatas. They came out great, so I will be making them again. I froze the extra frittatas. When I microwaved one this morning it only rooked 1 minute.

 To complete my breakfast, I added toasted whole wheat bagel thin and some fresh fruit.

 For lunch I made crab salad. I used crab, green bell pepper, celery, Cajun   seasoning, mayo, salt and pepper. To complete my lunch I took some spinach leaves and topped it with the crab salad. Salad dressing was not necessary since the salad was already seasoned perfectly. I had 6 whole wheat triscuits to get in a little carbs and fiber; that completed my lunch.

 For the second day, I made a sandwich with the crab salad using the 100 calorie whole wheat thins; added some spinach and had fruit.

 I also bought a rotisserie chicken for lunch one day. That will be my third day lunch. I will either add it to a salad or just have frozen veggies to complete my lunch.

 I baked some kale also, for a crunchy snack. I coated the kale leaves in a little olive oil, sprinkle with a a little seal salt, spread the leaves on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5-7 minutes. You may be thinking that baked kale is not for you, but it really is pretty tasty. Besides, it’s good for you.

So if you are not planing, start planning. If your week days are hectic, then take advantage of the weekends. You will me be surprised how fast you will be in and out if the kitchen. Your body will be so glad you did.

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10 TIPS TO ENJOYING YOUR MEAL

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Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less

 I saw the information online and wanted to share it.  It’s amazing what a difference small changes make.

10 tips to enjoying your meal:

 You can enjoy your meals while making small adjustments to the amounts of food on your plate. Healthy meals start with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. And don’t forget dairy—include fat-free or low-fat dairy products on your plate, or drink milk with your meal.

1.  Get to know the foods you eat

Use the Super Tracker to find out what kinds of foods and how much to eat and to get tips and support for making better food choices.

 2. Take your time

Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had enough.

 

3.  Use a smaller plate 

Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.

 4.  If you eat out, choose healthier options

Check and compare nutrition information about the foods you are eating. Preparing food at home makes it easier to control what is in your meals.

 5.  Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way

Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish—fruit! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

 6.  Choose to eat some foods more or less often Choose more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or 1% milk and dairy products. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt.

 7.  Find out what you need

Get your personalized plan by using the Super Tracker to identify your food group targets. Compare the foods you eat to the foods you need to eat.

 8.  Sip Smarter

Drink water or other calorie-free beverages, 100% juice, or fat-free milk when you are thirsty. Soda and other sweet drinks contain a lot of sugar and are high in calories.

 9.  Compare foods

Check out the Food-A-Pedia to look up and compare nutrition information for more than 8,000 foods.

 10.  Make treats “treats,” not everyday foods Treats are great once in a while. Just don’t make treat foods an everyday choice. Limit sweet treats to special.

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet18EnjoyYourFood.pdf

 

Choose Nutrient Dense Foods

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My goal now is to maintain my current weight. I realize that my journey now is living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining my current weight or stay below my current weight. I decided to attend a wellness class this week; the name of the class was Better Body Better.

There are so many diets available now. I really do not prefer programs that deprive me of certain foods like carbs. I prefer to have a treat every now and then. One of the things the dietitian said in the class was that we can consume all foods in moderation. It is pretty difficult to eat clean every single day.  The key is to eat less of the foods that lack nutrients and eat more nutrient dense foods.

The dietitian mainly stressed the importance of choosing nutrient dense foods. Nutrient dense foods give you the most nutrients for the fewest amounts of calories.  In other words, nutrient dense foods give you the “biggest bang for the buck.” You get lots of nutrients, and it doesn’t cost you much in terms of calories.  There is only a limited amount of food you can eat in a single day. In order to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in, it makes sense to spend your “calorie budget” wisely. The best way to do that is to simply eat the foods that carry the greatest amount and variety of nutrients.

Nutrient density — an example

Let’s take a quick example. Let’s say you’re low on vitamin E, and decide to eat a food that is not nutrient dense. A slice of run-of-the-mill white bread will give you about 1/10th of a milligram of vitamin E. This 1/10th of a milligram will cost you about 80 calories (the number of calories in a slice of many white breads). Now let’s compare this number and amount to a slice of 100% whole wheat bread.

Whole grain products, like most whole foods, are nutrient dense. A slice of 100% whole wheat bread will cost you approximately the same number of calories (about 70-75 calories) but the vitamin E content will be substantially different. Instead of getting only 100 micrograms of vitamin E in exchange for your 70-80 calories, with 100% whole grain bread, you will get between 250 and 500 micrograms. Or, to put it somewhat differently, you would have to eat between 2-1/2 and 5 slices of run-of-the-mill white bread in order to get the same amount of vitamin E as is found in one slice of 100% whole wheat bread. And those extra 1-1/2 to 4 slices would cost you as much as 320 additional calories.

Getting your nutrients from nutrient dense foods is clearly the way to go! Why? Because in this example, it would save you about 320 calories. While that amount might not sound like a lot, in terms of average walking, it would mean an additional 45 minutes of walking just to break even. It would also be the equivalent of a 33-pound weight gain every year if it happened on a daily basis.  Choosing a majority of nutrient dense foods will allow you to use your calories saved toward that treat that your desire.

How many calories should you consume on a daily basis? I recommend you use a tool such as My Fitness Pal or Calorie Count. Once you have an account established you can set your goals. Those applications would tell you exactly how many calories you need to consume in order to loose or maintain your current weight. It’s simple; if you stay within your daily calorie intake you WILL lose weight. If exercise is added, that is an extra bonus; will be able to consume little more calories and still drop pounds.

A calorie is a calorie, but keep in mind that if you choose more of the nutrient dense foods, you can eat so much more it!

Some examples of nutrient dense foods:

Broccoli, cabbage, berries, oranges, kiwi, beans and lentils, brown rice, carrots, melons, kale, spinach, peas, peppers, pineapples, etc. The list goes on and on.

 Final tips:

Use a smaller plate for meals

Stop at the FIRST sign of fullness

Drink a lot of water through the day (or before your meals)

Practice portion control

Eat a small snack every 2-3 hours

Helpful links:

http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/45-superfoods-to-add-to-your-diet

Imagehttp://www.myfitnesspal.com

http://www.my-calorie-counter.com

 

 

 

 

Being Accountable

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When we reach our weight loss goals, there is a maintenance plan we must follow in order to maintain our weight. We must be conscious of how our clothing fit and notice any fluctuations in our weight when we weigh in. It’s also helps to have a support system. You can share the highs and lows of your journey. There will always be good days and not so good days. We hold each other accountable by sharing all of those moments.

A week ago I had a body fat test done; my first body fat test was July 2013. The results of last week’s test reflected a 3.4% increase in my body fat and a 1 pound increase in weight. The increase in body fat was puzzling to me. I expected my body fat to be lower, not higher! After noticing my reaction, the rep ask me if I was doing anything differently today ( with my eating habits, or exercise routines).

My wheels start turning as I try to figure out why the increase in body fat. I realized my cardio has decreased a little from a year ago. Also, I’m eating more through out the day, Over the last few months I’ve been eating every 2 hours like clock work. I cut back on chips and added snacks such as peanuts, avocado and nuts. All of those foods have healthy fats, but are high calories.

What I decided to do was pay more attention to my portion sizes and maybe snack every 3 hours versus every 2 hours. Snacking often has did wonders for my metabolism so I will continue to snack in between breakfast and lunch and in between lunch and dinner. I will be more conscious of my options by eating more of the lower calorie foods and less of the higher calorie/ high fat foods.

Why is eating often is so important?

Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism for a short period of time, which means that the more often you eat, the more you’ll increase your metabolism. Eating every 2 to 3 hours feeds muscle and starves fat. By eating frequently, you reassure your body that you aren’t going to starve; that food will always be available. Skipping breakfast, eating only a sandwich for lunch, and pigging out at dinner, on the other hand, frightens your body into storing fat, just in case your next meal never comes. Research shows that people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day.

… But eat right. Frequent eating doesn’t mean mindless snacking. Rather than munching mindlessly, make each mini-meal complete — with a serving of vegetables and a healthy source of protein like eggs, chicken, or nuts. Upping your intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism. Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate, but the body tries hard to break it down anyway, using up energy — and boosting metabolism in the process. Plus, vegetables are low in calories, yet high in nutrients — a huge boon for your weight loss efforts.

Pay attention to the changes in your body and how your clothing fits. Hold yourself and let’s hold each other accountable.

Lavone

My First 10K

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photo 2My First 10K

This past weekend, I completed my first 10K by participating in Charleston’s Annual Cooper Bridge Run. I ran the entire 6.2 without stopping to walk once. Crossing the finish line was an awesome feeling. It did not expect to have as much fun as I did.
I recalled a couple of years ago; I was celebrating the times I ran one lap without stopping. Then I celebrating the one mile, followed by 2 miles and so one.
It’s all about starting and celebrating the small victories along the way.

“Live your best life”.
Lavone