Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good Foods and Journal #3

Fox news has a slide show that my husband was looking at this morning.  It's a list of "bad foods" that some diets tell you to shy away from but that ACTUALLY help you LOSE weight.  Check it out!

Also, I went running this afternoon.  I cannot believe how WELL I did.  I started getting sick last night and didn't sleep very well/kind of laid around this morning (as much as you can with two one-year-olds on the loose).  Then I went running.  I walked for about seven minutes (twice the warm-up time I usually do) and then I decided to start running.  And I ran . . . and I ran . . . and I ran.  In fact, with each minute, I felt stronger, more determined to succeed.  I had visions of crossing the finish line, of fitting into my clothes again, of feeling more confident and that I can do something HARD, and of having a MUCH easier time recovering from my next pregnancy and enjoying my baby than I did this time.  I had images in my head of friends and family who struggle just like me, some who have overcome and some who have not.  I thought about my children -- Abby and Isaac as teenagers and loads of temptations and trials all around them, needing to find strength to do hard things.

And -- I ran nearly 26 minutes WITHOUT STOPPING.  I say nearly because I did need to stop twice to blow my nose (horrible drip machine that it is right now).  After I stopped, I walked for about six minutes and then ran again for 10 MORE MINUTES before cooling down, feeling GREAT about my progress; GREAT about my ability to be ready for this half-marathon; GREAT about how much Heavenly Father blesses me to accomplish the righteous goals.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Journal #2, Week #2, Day #2

Wow, that's a lot of 2's!  Well, I wanted to announce that my diet yesterday FLOPPED on some cookie dough and chocolate cookies and cream (albeit Fat Free, still not sugar- or calorie-free!).  HOWEVER . . . .

I went running/walking for 50 minutes and ran the last mile without stopping and did three sets of sprints after the mile, before calling it quits for the day.  So that was really exciting for me!  Still haven't made it out yet today, but my legs are FEELING it!  And with the first snow of the season falling AS WE SPEAK, it will be a challenging but beautiful run as soon as my husband gets home so I can get out! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Journal #1 - Week #1 - Day #5

I am going to keep my food and activity journal here, that way I will be accountable to anyone who is reading along and will have an account of my progress for later goals/post-baby ambitions.

Today, I ate a yogurt with Fiber One for breakfast (1), a cup of dry Multi-Grain Cheerios (1) for a snack (we were out of milk at the time), a cup of oatmeal and pieces of my babies' grilled cheese sandwich and chicken meal for lunch (9), chips with salsa and cottage cheese and a Root Beer Float for a snack (4), a small handful of sunflower seeds for another snack (3), and 1/2 cup of white grape juice with breakfast that I forgot about (1).  I have five points left for the day and have yet to get in my veggies for the day.  So my goal for dinner is veggies and lean protein. I also haven't taken my multi-vitamins yet - so I need to fit that one in somewhere as well. 

I haven't exercised yet today, but this week has been centered around running and walking -- getting my body back into running mode in a simple, enjoyable way.  I actually plan on spending four weeks on this phase, building up to comfortably running for 30 minutes without stopping, before I start the ten-week Half-Marathon training.  So far, so good.  I love to run to Credence Clearwater's "New Vibration."  I follow the changes in rhythm and walk, jog, and sprint accordingly.  I've decided that the BEST time to get BACK into running mode is actually in the colder, sometimes rainy or snowy FALL weather. I am determined to BE A RUNNER before I get pregnant again and then keep on RUNNING!  I've looked at different Mommy Marathoner blogs and read articles and looked at people I know who have done it and am just amazed by them.  So I figure that if THIS is what I find inspiring and amazing, THIS must by MY thing to join in on and not let doubt, fear, inadequacies, weather, etc. hold me back.  And the half-marathon is my way of taking baby steps.  The marathon is coming, though -- don't you worry!

And, feel free to join in -- I'd love some cyberspace company in the training and track buddies on the run.  Dave isn't going to join me for this one, but I AM going to lasso him in for the next one.

Outlining SUCCESS!

I was reading on Brian Tracy's blog. He wrote The Miracle of Self-Discipline, which I actually have not read, but my friend Carrie has read it and applied it to her weight-loss goals and is experiencing incredible success. So, I checked it out online and found his blog and these great tips on making things happen for yourself:

1) Decide What You Want
Step number one, decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a "meaningful specific" rather than a "wandering generality."
* I have done this before, but I am going to start over and do it again.  What I want is to wear by wedding dinner outfit on my anniversary on December 15.

2) Write it Down
Second, write it down, clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish and it has no energy behind it.
* I just did!  I'll do it again!  I want to wear my wedding dinner outfit on my anniversary on Dec. 15.

3) Set A Deadline
Third, set a deadline for your goal. A deadline acts as a "forcing system" in your subconscious mind. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don’t leave this to chance.
* Cool - repetition is good, right?  December 15 -- my 2nd Anniversary!

4) Make A List
Fourth, make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, write them on your list until your list is complete.
* Exercise every day.
* Go to the gym and include weight training in my routine.
* Continue to cut back on calories by staying within my daily calorie range.
* Make extra sacrifices like cutting out sugar and not over-indulging when life makes it so easy.
* Drink a lot of water.
* Stop eating early so that I don't pack on extra calories in the late and often sedentary evening time and/or night time snacking.
* Get adequate sleep.
* Keep a food journal.
* Keep an exercise journal.

5) Organize Your List
Fifth, organize your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second. Decide what is more important and what is less important. And then write out your plan on paper, the same way you would develop a blueprint to build your dream house.
I think it's pretty organized.  Some particulars about the exercise/healthy eating portion:

* Exercise every day.
* Go to the gym and include weight training in my routine.
For these two, I am training to run a half-marathon in St. George, Utah on January 23.  That means running when the weather is bad and/or I don't feel like it; making my "rest" days work as much for me as my "run" days by doing weight-training exercises to strengthen and tone my muscles, eating well-balanced meals and taking a vitamin supplement, and staying positive about my ability to DO this and succeed.

6) Take Action
The sixth step is for you to take action on your plan. Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.
*Already on it -- revisit this one if I am tempted to stop!

7) Do Something Every Day
Do something every single day that moves you in the direction of your most important goal at the moment. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day.
* I think this one is going to have to be my focus on running a half-marathon in January.  Even rest days are work days towards your ultimate goal.  And keeping a journal of what I am eating/doing will help me look back and see how far I have come.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.
1) Decide exactly what you want, write it down with a deadline, make a plan and take action - on at least one goal - today!

2) Determine the price you will have to pay to achieve this goal and then get busy paying that price - whatever it is.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

25 Little Tips

I found this on the Weight Watchers Website and thought it was a great overview of some of the BABY steps you can start with to move yourself towards your post-BABY goals (or pre-baby, for that matter :-D).

The surest way to succeed is making small changes. Think in terms of manageable baby steps, like swapping the half-and-half in your morning coffee for fat-free or low-fat milk. There are lots of little changes you can make—in your food plan and daily routine—that will add up to a lot of weight loss over the long haul.

Take a look at our 25 tips below for eating healthfully, fitting exercise into your busy day and revamping your daily routine. Start by picking five changes that you're sure you can tackle and practice them this week. Then try another five next week (click the 'print' link above to print this out for easy reference).

Not every idea is right for everyone, so experiment and see what works for you. Lots of little changes can yield big weight-loss results—and a healthier new you!

1. Good things come in small packages.
Here's a trick for staying satisfied without consuming large portions: Chop high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into smaller pieces. It will seem like you're getting more than you actually are.

2. Get "water-wise."
Make a habit of reaching for a glass of water instead of a high-fat snack. It will help your overall health as well as your waistline. So drink up! Add some zest to your six to eight glasses a day with a twist of lemon or lime.

3. Herb it up.
Stock up your spice rack, and start growing a small herb garden in your kitchen window. Spices and herbs add fantastic flavor to foods without adding fat or calories.

4. Slim down your soup.
Make a big batch of soup and refrigerate it before you eat it. As it cools, the fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off the surface.

5. Doggie-bag that dinner.
At restaurants that you know serve large portions, ask the waiter to put half of your main course in a take-home box before bringing it to your table. Putting the food away before you start your meal will help you practice portion control.

6. Listen to your cravings.
If you're craving something sweet, eat something sweet—just opt for a healthier nosh (like fruit) instead of a high-calorie one like ice cream. The same goes for crunchy cravings—for example, try air-popped popcorn instead of high-fat chips. It's just smart substitution!

7. Ease your way into produce.
If you're new to eating lots of fruits and vegetables, start slowly. Just add them to the foods you already enjoy. Pile salad veggies into your sandwiches, or add fruit to your cereal.

8. Look for high-fat hints.
Want an easy way to identify high-calorie meals? Keep an eye out for these words: au gratin, parmigiana, tempura, alfredo, creamy and carbonara, and enjoy them in moderation.

9. Don't multi-task while you eat.
If you're working, reading or watching TV while you eat, you won't be paying attention to what's going into your mouth—and you won't be enjoying every bite. Today, every time you have a meal, sit down. Chew slowly and pay attention to flavors and textures. You'll enjoy your food more and eat less.

10. Taste something new.
Broaden your food repertoire—you may find you like more healthy foods than you knew. Try a new fruit or vegetable (ever had plantain, pak choi, starfruit or papaya?).

11. Leave something on your plate at every meal.
One bite of bagel, half your sandwich, the bun from your burger. See if you still feel satisfied eating just a bit less.

12. Get to know your portion sizes.
It's easy to underestimate how much you're eating. Today, don't just estimate things—make sure. Ask how much is in a serving, read the fine print on labels, measure your food. And learn portion equivalents: One serving of pasta, for instance, should be around the size of a tennis ball.

13. Don't give up dips.
If you love creamy dips and sauces, don't cut them out of your food plan completely. Just use low-fat soft cheese and mayo instead of the full fat stuff.

14. Make a healthy substitution.
Learn to swap healthier foods for their less-healthy counterparts. Today, find a substitution that works for you: Use skim or low-fat milk instead of whole milk; try whole-wheat bread instead of white.

15. Bring lunch to work tomorrow.
Packing lunch will help you control your portion sizes. It also provides a good alternative to restaurants and takeaways, where making healthy choices every day can be challenging (not to mention expensive).

16. Have some dessert.
You don't have to deny yourself all the time. Have a treat that brings you pleasure, but this time enjoy it guilt-free be—sure you're practicing portion control, and compensate for your indulgence by exercising a little more or by skipping your afternoon snack.

17. Ask for what you need.
Tell your mother-in-law you don't want seconds. Ask your other half to stop bringing you chocolates. Speak up for the place with great salads when your co-workers are picking a restaurant for lunch. Whatever you need to do to succeed at weight loss, ask for it—make yourself a priority and assert yourself.

18. Improve your treadmill technique.
When walking on a treadmill, don't grip the rails. It's fine to touch them for balance, but you shouldn't have to hold on. If you do, that might be a signal you should lower the intensity level.

19. Simon says... get fit.
Here's an easy way to fit in exercise with your kids: Buy a set of 1 lb weights and play a round of Simon Says—you do it with the weights, they do it without. They'll love it!

20. Make the most of your walks.
If your walking routine has become too easy, increase your effort by finding hills. Just be sure to tackle them at the beginning of your walk, when you have energy to spare.

21. Shop 'til you drop...pounds!
Add a workout to your shopping sessions by walking around the mall before your start spending. And try walking up the escalator—getting to your destination faster will be an added bonus.

22. Walk an extra 100 steps at work.
Adding even a little extra exercise to your daily routine can boost your weight loss. Today, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or stroll down the hall to talk to a co-worker instead of sending an email or calling.

23. Brush your teeth after every meal and snack.
This will be a signal to your mouth—and your mind—that it's time to stop eating. Brushing will also give your mouth a nice fresh taste that you'll be disinclined to ruin with a random chip. At work, keep a toothbrush with a cover and toothpaste in your desk drawer.

24. Clean your closet.
First, it's great exercise. Second, it's an important step in changing your attitude. Get rid of all the clothes that make you look or feel bad. Throw out anything that's too big—don't give yourself the option of ever fitting into those clothes again. Move the smaller clothes up to the front to help motivate you. Soon, you'll be fitting into those too-tight jeans you couldn't bear to part with.

25. Take your measurements.
You might not like your stats now, but you'll be glad you wrote them down when you see how many inches you've lost. It's also another way to measure your success, instead of just looking at the scale. Sometimes even when the numbers on the scale aren't going down, the measurements on your body are.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Snack Attack!!!!

Ever need a healthy snack but just don't know where to turn? Oh, pick me . . . pick ME!!! I just discovered another great one (in addition to 94% fat free popcorn and carrots or my sugar-free root beer float). Ruffles makes a fat free potato chip -- that my husband can't distinguish from a regular potato chip. Pretty cool, eh . . . eh? So I LOVE to do chips and salsa . . . with a twist. I mix 1/2 cup cottage cheese with as much salsa as my heart desires and have . . . chips and creamy salsa. So much healthier than cream cheese and oh so yummy! If you can't find the chips, you can go to a LOT of work and make your own (thinly-sliced potatoes slowly baked until crispy but not burnt. I'll look for instruction -- if you want). BUT WHO HAS TIME, RIGHT? Try a low-fat or whole grain cracker (1 g of fiber or more per serving, less than 4 g of fat per serving -- and MEASURE OUT THAT SERVING). It'll still do the trick!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


One of the BIGGEST problems in today's world is the focus on eating out, fast food, finishing everything on your plate, and buying pre-packaged frozen meals. These are KILLING us through increased obesity in both adults and children.

Well - I have a new favorite site for all of my cooking needs. I'm calling this post Single Size Me because you can choose how many servings you want to prepare and it will calculate the ingredient list to match your selection. It also has nutrition information for every recipe in its database. For example, I wanted to make pizza the other day - individual pizzas for my husband and I. I didn't want a lot of extra dough (or a lot of extra work -- the temptation with pizza is to eat "just one more piece" until three pieces later, you've eaten your entire day's calories in one meal). SO, I found a whole wheat pizza crust recipe, typed in that I wanted to make two servings, followed the instructions, and VOILA!!! Perfect amount of food for a perfectly healthy and satisfying meal.

I think this can be especially helpful in the SWEET TOOTH arena. The problem I have is NOT that I eat sweets when I have a sweet tooth every now and then. The problem is that I make a whole batch of cookies, promising I will give away and get rid of all but one little cookie, and then I eat a bunch of the dough while making the cookies, a few fresh ones when they come out of the oven, one or two off the cooling rack, etc. -- YOU KNOW THE DRILL, RIGHT? So what I have found with this site is that I can make just the amount of servings I want and get rid of the temptation to munch on all the wonderfully sweet goodness in front of me at each stage of the creation process, not to mention left-overs that never quite make it out my door!

For example, my sister-in-law was over a few weekends ago, and I wanted to make cookies. I didn't have most of the ingredients for the kinds I really WANTED to make, and it was a Sunday afternoon so I couldn't go out and get the ones I needed. But I found a delicious recipe for NO BAKE COOKIES. PERFECT! I entered that I wanted to make six servings; it adjusted the recipe for me; I made the cookies; everyone got a little taste; and that was that. No extra temptations; no left-overs sitting on the counter; no need to sample in the baking process because I knew there was going to be just enough for everyone to have some.

Serving-size recipes: Thanks All!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

This is an amazing pizza dough crust for some FIVE STAR fun! Pizza is NO LONGER OFF LIMITS -- as long as you exercise some limits in portion control on the toppings.


* 1/2 tsp white sugar
* 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl & 2 tsp lukewarm water
* 1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
* 1-1/4 tsp olive oil
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 3/4 cup + 2 Tbl and 1 tsp whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the all-purpose flour and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled (or Pam-sprayed) bowl and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
(I learned in my bread-making days that you can also turn the oven on to 150 for about 10 minutes and then turn it off and place your dough in there to rise -- cuts the rising time in half!)
3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 4 pieces for 4 individual pizzas, or leave whole to make one crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well-oiled pizza pan (or lightly-sprayed pizza stone or cast-iron ware). Top pizza with your favorite toppings.
5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Calories: 167
Total Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 236mg
Total Carbs: 33g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Protein: 6g

Last night we did this for Family Night and it was a HUGE success. Our toppings were garlic spaghetti sauce, grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, pineapple, olives, spices, and cheese. Each person got to make their own pizza, which added an individual touch to each and some real family fun and fun discussions as we created our dinners and then enjoyed eating them together. I measured out serving sizes of each food to not go overboard, and it was PERFECT!!! Just the right amount of food for a satisfying dinner with NO temptations to eat just ONE MORE PIECE of pizza!