Thursday, September 5, 2013

Breakfast...who has time...WE DO if we make it EASY!

As I was running out the door this morning...I thought about how I always work on the computer right up until the time, or even just a little after the time, I have to get ready for work.

I often have to put an egg on the stove to cook while I am showering...or...I shovel down a bowl of cereal...or like today I have to grab something to take with me.

I was feeling discouraged about this and thought about how I need to take more time to work on meals.

Then I thought about how we as a people have become so very busy...it is just the way it is.

So...thought I...

HOW do we work with where we are at?
There is probably no going back to a time where we have more time.

HOW do we use what we have here and now?

We CAN do this!
We CAN eat well in the midst of the turmoil.
We just NEED to UNDERSTAND the choices.

So...what is an easy breakfast?

Putting an egg on the stove while showering is actually a pretty good choice for me. I don't have kids or pets in the house so I am safe in doing this.

I cut a hole in a piece of bread and crack an egg into the middle of the hole.
I turn it on low...go shower...come turn the egg over...get dressed...eat.
Add a glass of milk and a banana and I now have
1 bread, 1 protein, 1 milk, and 1 fruit.

Today I put 2 slices of bread into the toaster.
I spread 1 T of peanut butter on the toast and grabbed a banana
And ran out the door with this in hand to be eaten at work :)
Which gave me 2 breads, 1 protein, 1 fat, and 1 fruit.

My other go-to breakfast includes
1 c cereal with 1 c milk
You guessed it...1 bread, 1 milk
Add a small banana (its an easy fruit for me) and I have 1 fruit.

When I am really good I saute 1/2 cup veggies such as spinach, broccoli, green pepper, onion, etc. Crack and egg over it. Stir. Cook until egg is done. This = 1 veggie, 1 protein.
I like to add a breakfast shake to this egg meal...
1 c milk
1/2 c frozen mixed fruit (I like the berry mixes)
1 small frozen banana (take off peel before you freeze...great way to use brown bananas)
1/2 c frozen spinach
1-2 T chocolate drink mix
Mix in blender.
This is 1 milk, 2 fruits, 1 veggie, (I don't count the chocolate :)

One day my husband cooked pancakes.
I had two small pancakes topped with 1 T Nutella, 1 sliced small banana, and 1 c sliced strawberries. WOW! Was that good!
It was 2 breads, 1 fat, 2 fruits.

So what is an easy breakfasts that YOU do?
Let's push past the pounds one meal at a time :)


PS. I weighed-in tonight...down another 1 3/4 pounds :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Reporting In~

I lost another 1 1/2 pounds this week!
YEAH!

I told you I was doing it with the "Exchange System"
I showed you the little boxes I check off each day.
Now I want to explain a little about what the exchange system is.

"In the exchange system, foods are divided into three main groups based on the three major nutrients — carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Subgroups — starches, fruits, milk, meat, sweets, fats and free foods — fall within one of those three categories. Within each group, you'll see how much you can eat of various foods for the same amount of calories, carbohydrates and other nutrients. You can exchange or trade foods within a group because they're similar in nutrient content and the manner in which they affect your blood sugar."
I love that the exchange program is so very flexible!

Each day I drink 8 cups of water and I eat 6 starches, 5 proteins, 3-4 vegetables, 3-4 fruits, 2 milks, and 3 fats....see lists below.

It really is that simple!

Sometimes I find that I feel hungry just because I used to stuff myself (feed the feelings you know :)
If I am still hungry I can have all the vegetables I want.

But I find if I eat all of the recommended food I really do well.

Maybe try it for a week and see how you feel...

Starches contain 15 grams of carbohydrate and 80 calories per serving. One serving equals:

1 sliceBread (white, pumpernickel, whole wheat, rye)
2 slicesReduced-calorie or "lite" bread
¼ (1 oz)Bagel (varies)
½English muffin
½Hamburger bun
¾ CCold cereal
13 CRice, brown or white, cooked
13 CBarley or couscous, cooked
13 CLegumes (dried beans, peas or lentils), cooked
½ CPasta, cooked
½ CBulgar, cooked
½ CCorn, sweet potato, or green peas
3 ozBaked sweet or white potato
¾ ozPretzels
3 CPopcorn, hot air popped or microwave (80% light)

Very Lean Protein choices have 35 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving. One serving equals:
1 ozTurkey breast or chicken breast, skin removed
1 ozFish fillet (flounder, sole, scrod, cod, etc.)
1 ozCanned tuna in water
1 ozShellfish (clams, lobster, scallop, shrimp)
¾ CCottage cheese, nonfat or low-fat
2Egg whites
¼ CEgg substitute
1 ozFat-free cheese
½ CBeans, cooked (black beans, kidney, chick peas or lentils): count as 1 starch/bread and 1 very lean protein

Lean Protein choices have 55 calories and 2–3 grams of fat per serving. One serving equals:
1 ozChicken—dark meat, skin removed
1 ozTurkey—dark meat, skin removed
1 ozSalmon, swordfish, herring
1 ozLean beef (flank steak, London broil, tenderloin, roast beef)*
1 ozVeal, roast or lean chop*
1 ozLamb, roast or lean chop*
1 ozPork, tenderloin or fresh ham*
1 ozLow-fat cheese (with 3 g or less of fat per ounce)
1 ozLow-fat luncheon meats (with 3 g or less of fat per ounce)
¼ C4.5% cottage cheese
2 med.Sardines
* Limit to 1–2 times per week

Medium-Fat Proteins have 75 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving. One serving equals:
1 ozBeef (any prime cut), corned beef, ground beef**
1 ozPork chop
1Whole egg (medium)**
1 ozMozzarella cheese
¼ CRicotta cheese
4 ozTofu (note this is a heart healthy choice)
** Choose these very infrequently

Vegetables contain 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate. One serving equals:
½ CCooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, etc.)
1 CRaw vegetables or salad greens
½ CVegetable juice
If you’re hungry, eat more fresh or steamed vegetables.

Fruits contain 15 grams of carbohydrate and 60 calories. One serving equals:
1 smallApple, banana, orange, nectarine
1 med.Fresh peach
1Kiwi
½Grapefruit
½Mango
1 CFresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
1 CFresh melon cubes
18thHoneydew melon
4 ozUnsweetened juice
4 tspJelly or jam

Fat-Free and Very Low-Fat Milk contain 90 calories per serving. One serving equals:
1 CMilk, fat-free or 1% fat
¾ CYogurt, plain nonfat or low-fat
1 CYogurt, artificially sweetened
1 tspOil (vegetable, corn, canola, olive, etc.)
1 tspButter
1 tspStick margarine
1 tspMayonnaise
1 TbspReduced-fat margarine or mayonnaise
1 TbspSalad dressing
1 TbspCream cheese
2 TbspLite cream cheese
1/8thAvocado
8 largeBlack olives
10 largeStuffed green olives
1 sliceBacon

Monday, August 26, 2013

I think I can

This morning I was down almost two pounds from when I started blogging again back in July. At this rate I'll hit my goal weight in about four years. But I have faith that I can do it a little faster than that, if I just do the things I know I need to do. I'm still trying to get back into the swing of exercising every day. Drinking enough water is still an issue. I think I just need to schedule when and how I drink it, just like a prescription medication. And food? Well, it is zucchini season. At least part of zucchini bread is a vegetable, right? Upward (or downward) and onward.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back on Track!

I am back on track!
And I had a 6 pound loss this week!
SO EXCITED!

How did I do it?
By following TOPS exchange program!

Everyday I have:
8 glasses of water
6 breads
5 proteins
3-4 veggies
3-4 fruits
3 fats
2 milks

I have little boxes I check off like the ones you see here.
When all the boxes are checked off I am done eating for the day.

Notice there are no boxes for sugary treats...but it is okay.
I have noticed that as I nourish my body the cravings are very minimal and totally manageable.
I do allow myself up to 2 Tablespoons of Nesquik Chocolate Drink Mix in my milk :)

I also did 20 - 30 minutes of Leslie Sansone's Walk Aerobic DVD's 6 days this past week.

So that is ME...
How are YOU doing?

We can do it!
We CAN push past the pounds!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hi! And Hiatal Hernias

A hiatal hernia is a condition where part of your stomach pops up into your esophagus. It can give you heartburn and it can make it really hard to eat. In some severe cases, people have surgery to push that puppy back down where it goes.

Well, I've had one over the course of the last month. I've been having heartburn, and I thought I was probably eating too many spices. But then I noticed that sometimes when I swallowed, the food would just sit in the center of the esophagus and would not go down. A few times I'd have to throw up to get it out of there because it was not budging, and there were a few days when I couldn't eat much at all because nothing would go down.

Thankfully, my awesome chiropractor was able to dig his pointy fingers into my abdomen and pop the stomach back down without the need for surgery. The tissues are still sore - when you've had something wrong for a while, there's a recovery period - but I'm doing a whole lot better now.

There's just one problem - this didn't help my weight loss at all.  The only thing I found I could eat, most of the time, was Rice Krispies. And sometimes those wouldn't go down either.

I know I've put back on those five pounds I was so happy to lose. I haven't weighed - I don't want to be all sad - but I can tell in the way I'm feeling. In order to lose weight, my body needs a high protein, low carb, lots of vegetable diet, and I haven't been able to do that much for the last few weeks. I'm disappointed on a number of levels.

But I'm not giving up.  :)

Another incentive for me was seeing some pictures of myself taken at a recent writers conference. One was taken from the side (which should be outlawed) and my stomach is definitely coming back. Nooooo!! Say it ain't so!!

I've asked fellow bloggers Marta and Shauna to be my accountability buddies several times a week while I get this nipped in the bud. The hernia wasn't my fault, but it's completely up to me now how I come out of it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reboot

I've recovered from the all the trauma of a couple of weeks ago. My foot has only small scars left. My mother is on her way to healing, and my WONDERFUL niece is now her full-time caregiver. The cat is still with us and shows no signs of rabies. (But I do wonder if cats can suffer from dementia.) (Or maybe she found catnip growing somewhere in the neighborhood.)

It's time to drag myself back onto the treadmill again. Theoretically, I know exercise helps with weight loss. It helps relieve stress. I remember just a couple of weeks ago I was on a roll and I felt so much better, physically and emotionally, when I was exercising every day. But I am not enthused about pushing this particular wheelbarrow of rocks up the hill again. I'll get there.

So back to the basics we go. Exercise 6 days a week. Drink plenty of water. Write down everything I eat and analyze it to death.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Making a change in PLANS

I am in need of a change.
A change in attitude.
A change in commitment.
A change in the plan.

I have been going to Weight Watchers for over a year and I weigh 10 pounds more than when I started. Not their fault...all mine...I LOVED their "exchange plan" having a hard time staying within the "points plus plan."

AND just like ME....I need a NEW START! It is very discouraging thinking I need to lose 15 pounds to get my "first 5 pound loss."

Still need help.
Still need a program.
Still need that accountability.
So...

I am starting new with TOPS (Taking Off Pound Sensibly)

I went to my first meeting last night...LOVED IT!
I have been really fighting emotional eating lately.

Here it the TOPS Pledge

I am an intelligent person.
I will control my emotions and
not let my emotions control me.
Every time I am tempted to use food
to satisfy my frustrated desires,
build up my injured ego
or dull my senses, I will remember.
Even though I overeat in private
my excess poundage is there
for all the world to see.
will take off pounds sensibly.
WOW!
AND they do the EXCHANGE PROGRAM...the one that works best for me.
Here's to my NEW START!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Bump in the Road

Last week was not a good week. On Wednesday night my cat was sleeping by my foot. Something startled her and she bit me. By the next evening, my foot was becoming red and swollen, and I went to the ER. Just as I was coming out of the ER, my sister called to let me know my mother fell, hit her head and broke her shoulder. (She's 92.) I spent the night in a recliner in my mother's hospital room. So I was dealing with the nasty side effects of two powerful antibiotics, a swollen and painful foot, loss of sleep, and all kinds of worry and stress. All my healthy goals just flew right out the window. Oh, and I was also dealing with the hormone roller coaster and water retention. Yay!

Did I mention it was not a good week?

So by this morning when I weighed it, it was pretty bad. I'm almost back to where I was a few weeks ago. I'd like to say I'm in damage control mode now, but I'm not even doing that well. I'm still just trying to survive these stupid antibiotics. The side effects are fatigue and stomach pain. (And apparently major crankiness and whining.) I'm not especially hungry, but it's worse if I don't eat and better when I do.

My daughter challenged me a few weeks ago to start doing pushups and situps every day. That may be my exercise for the coming week, because it wouldn't involve using my foot.

So my goals for this week are:

1. See how many pushups and situps I can do. Maybe I'll add some arm curls with hand weights.

2. Heal.

3. Try not to eat everything in sight.

(Mom is home, all stitched up and braced, with many family members and friends lining up to take care of her around the clock. She is much more stoic than I.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Progress

Marta reminded me that's it's been a little while since I've posted. So true, so true. Life has just been crazy busy. I'm sure every one of you can relate.

Remember how I weighed in at 245 and I set the goal to hit 212 by November 1st? Well, I'm feeling pretty good right now - this morning I weighed in at 240. That's a right nice start.

I've been off sugar for a solid week now. I did it before - I can do it again. But let me tell you a secret - when you go off it and then get back on it, it's so much harder to get off the second time. Just get off and stay off and don't put yourself through this again. I'm ornery, I feel a little lost and scared, and right now I'm having to make a firm, conscious choice not to go buy some. I've had a rough day, and so I've got to focus even more on making healthy choices. We gain weight without trying - we have to put in effort to lose it.

I've learned that when I eat sugar, I gain weight. When I eat grain, I gain weight. By eliminating sugar and grain, I lose weight. It's that simple for me - on paper. Making the decision not to eat them is much, much harder. We're conditioned to eat them in our culture and they're absolutely everywhere. And have I mentioned that I'm a food addict and an emotional overeater? Yeah - I'm sure you picked up on that along the way.

So that's what I'm up to this week - dealing with stress, choosing not to head for the chocolate, and feeling good about five pounds down. That's five on my bathroom scale - we'll just have to see if my doctor's scale agrees next time I weigh in there. I swear, his scale hates me or something.  :)

Remember - conscious decisions. Doing things subconsciously leads to weight gain.

God Grant Me Patience . . . NOW!!

As of this morning, I've lost another 0.8 pounds. I'm torn. I want faster results, but I don't want to do the drastic things that give those fast results. I want to create habits, long-term habits. I keep telling myself if it comes off slow it's more likely to stay off. But I still want it to be faster.

I suppose I would have lost more if I hadn't made those brownies. Lunch Lady Brownies a la Pinterest. My son came home for the weekend and he has the opposite problem. He can't gain weight. He's tall and has the metabolism of a blast furnace. I know, I know. We should all have such problems. It's really hard for him to find jeans that are tall and skinny enough. So I felt it was my motherly duty to keep feeding him. I was sort of caught in the fallout and blew my diet and skipped my exercise on Saturday. But it was a calculated decision. My son doesn't get to come home very often.

I've decided I really don't want to eliminate chocolate. Some days you just need chocolate. At least I do. I'll just be a little more selective. (Oh, and I ate exactly three brownies: one Saturday, one Sunday, and one this morning. I sent some home with my son, and gave away a lot of them. They are no longer in my house.)

I'm back at it today. My goals for the coming week are:

1. Keep walking, 25 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

2. Drink 2 liters of water a day. (It's getting slightly easier. I'm almost there today.)

3. Eat a decent breakfast every day, hopefully before 9:00 a.m., including complex carbs and a lot of protein.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Funny Story

Here is my funny weight-loss story for the day....

At our WW meetings we get different "star" stickers for different achievements.

After handing out 3 different stars to one person the leader told us about a WW member who purchased a gorgeous picture of a night sky to place her stars on.

As the rest of us oohed and aahed another member said, "Wait! What?" "Oh I get it now...I thought you said she purchased a gorgeous picture of a nice guy."

We all had a good laugh and wondered where you would put the stars on a nice guy :)

What would you choose?

A gorgeous night sky?
Or a gorgeous nice guy?
And who would that gorgeous nice guy be?

PS. After having a couple of days last week where I fed the emotions I ended up staying the same on my weight...no loss, but no gain.

Will try harder this week and definitely be thinking of all of you! Thanks for your love and support!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just keep walking, walking, walking . . .


I've never been really enthused about exercise, but I'm still walking, 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week. So I met my exercise goal again last week, but I'm really struggling with drinking enough water. The only day I made it to 2 liters was Friday, and I'm not sure how I did that. I'll keep trying.

As of this morning, I was down another 0.6 lbs. Not what I was hoping for, but at least it's in the right direction. I think it's time to do something about food.

I've been paying more attention to what I eat and drink lately. I've already (mostly) cut out sodas. The next biggest thing is chocolate, my drug of choice. If I could figure out how to do a pie chart of where my calories come from, chocolate would be a big slice of the pie—chocolate cream pie. I don't know if I can cut chocolate out permanently, but I'm pretty sure I can do it for at least one week. Then I'll see what the results are and reassess.

My goals for the coming week are:

1. Keep walking, and up it to 25 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

2. Chug that water, 2 liters a day.

3. No chocolate for one week.

See you next Monday.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Just to let you know I am normal :)

After being SO GOOD for two weeks...

I TOTALLY BLEW it tonight!
We went out to dinner and I thought "I don't care tonight."
I've had a bad day and I want food to help me feel good.
So I ate a whole lot of things I shouldn't have.
I even went back to Wal-Mart and got ice cream and cupcakes.


We try...
We blow it...
and we try again...

That vicious cycle called weight-loss!

I could use some more encouraging :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

BE PROUD!

We need to have a "WE ARE PROUD OF SHAUNA" moment

I went to Wal-Mart not ONCE but TWICE yesterday and I didn't buy candy! I do believe that is a first!

I also weighed in today...drum roll please...

I lost another 1.6 pounds!

YEAH!

Monday, July 15, 2013

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

I saw that on Pinterest, and it's my new philosophy. I'm making one change at a time. Starting last Tuesday (because Monday was my birthday and I was eating zucchini brownies) I began walking on the treadmill every day, for at least 20 minutes a day. I logged my minuets every day and ended up with a total for the week of 115 minutes walking. While I walked, I watched last week's episode of "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," and I had to keep going on Saturday until I hit 33 minutes to see the final weigh in.

I've also been weighing myself daily and recording that in my log book. Some "experts" say not to weigh yourself so often, but I find it interesting to see the way how much I exercise and how much I eat affects my weight on a daily basis. It was a little bit of a roller coaster, but as of this morning, I am down 2 pounds, which is 4% of my goal.

My goals for the coming week are:

1. Keep walking every day.

2. Drink 2 liters of water every day.

I haven't set any hard and fast rules about food yet. But because I'm exercising and weighing daily, I'm more aware of what I'm eating and how it affects me. I find myself making better choices, like eating more fruits and vegetables. I've also made some bad choices, like buying a whole package of Double-Stuff Oreos. If those things are in the house, I WILL eat them. I'm not banishing the cookies just yet, but maybe next time I want something sweet I'll just run over to the convenience store and get one of those single serving packages instead.

Baby steps. Baby steps.