October 2007 Challenge

We are going to do weekly challenges this month. Each week I will post a new challenge, & then the last few days of October, we will try to do all 4 of them together. Make sure you check back each Saturday to get the next weeks challenge. To keep your fitness level up, make sure you are doing at least 30 minutes of cardio every week, 2 days of weights & 1 day of stretching like pilates or yoga.

Here is our first challenge:

Monday, October 1 – Sunday, October 7, 2007: Avoid all trans fats. These are the nasty fats that raise your cholesterol. Look for the words ‘hydrogenated & ‘partially hydrogenated’ & steer clear. Many trans fats are found in packaged crackers, cookies & cereals. Trans fats are everywhere, but labels are getting better now, just look on the front of the box, most will advertise that they are ‘trans fat free’. Trans fats are fats that have been chemically altered, they are man-made fats & need to be avoided. Bonus: For an added bonus, try for one day this week to completely avoid saturated fats as well as all oils. Eat your fats in their pure form (i.e. avocados, nuts, seeds, olives), these are much better for you than the processed oils. Use water or vegetable broth for sauteeing & cooking, its just one day, you can do it.

Don’t forget to check back on Saturday for next weeks challenge. Feel free to leave a comment or encouragement for someone else. Debyi

Pasta for dinner last night

It has been on the chilly side the last few days & I have been in the mood for some winter comfort food, so last night I made some pasta with leeks, roasted red peppers & capers.   This pasta dish has a nice light flavor that goes really well with some green tea. This has a comfort food taste & feel without all the fat & calories. A nice side salad is all you need to make this a complete meal. If you can’t stand the thought of eating pasta without bread, a slice of garlic bread will pair nicely.  I added some broccoli florets to it, which did not go well at all.  I ended up picking them out & eating them on the side, which was better.  Edamame would go well though.  Let me know what you think.  Here is the recipe.  Sorry, I don’t have a picture. 
Continue reading Pasta for dinner last night

Don’t Get Discouraged

For all of you trying to lose weight or stick with an exercise routine, don’t get discouraged when you “fall off the wagon”.  It’s okay to take an extra rest day once in a while to keep yourself focused or on track.  It’s good to have a “cheat” meal once a week, it keeps you from feeling deprived & can even help you to stick with your diet. 

When you are losing weight or starting to workout, its good to have a goal, but you also need a plan or a strategy of how you will achieve that goal.  You can’t just say “I’m going to lose 20 pounds”, you need to have a plan on how you will lose those 20 pounds.  Are you going to start jogging, or lifting weights.  Maybe you will start Jenny Craig or cut out all red meat from your diet.  Whatever your plan is, as a motivator, you nee to write out your goal & put it up where you will see it every day, to help keep you focused on the prize.  You can have it in a journal, or tape it to your bathroom mirror.  You should try to tell someone about it so you can have an accountability partner to keep you on track.  If you are someone who can stick to a plan on your own, wonderful!  Maybe you can be an accountability partner for someone else, help them to stay on track.  Encouraging others & being encouraged helps reaching your goals a whole lot easier. 

I love rain!

It has rained almost all day today!  I am so excited about that.  It seems that Fall has arrived & since the weather is cooling off, I’m looking forward to soups & casseroles, & baking!  Baking is my favorite stress reliver, especially bread.  Kneading the dough, watching it rise, the smell of fresh warm bread, right from the oven, my mouth is watering already.  I can’t wait to share my fall recipes with you.  This week I’m making some Hummus & Avocado Sandwiches as well as Walnut Bread & hopefully some Chocolate Cream Pie (yes, I have a huge sweet tooth).  I hope to have another recipe & video posted by next week.  All I need now is a cup of tea, a good book & a window to watch the rain come down.  Debyi

7 Tips To Healthy Weight Loss

Do the words DIET or WAY OF EATING give you nightmares? Do you get stressed out just thinking about those words? Well, losing weight doesn’t have to be about deprivation, starvation, or counting your carbs. You can lose weight naturally with just switching up or adding a few things to your daily eating habits.

1. Add unrefined whole grains like whole wheat bread, rolled oats or steel cut oats instead of quick cooking oats, brown rice instead of white, etc.

Try using different types of whole grains in your cooking to add a little variety, some good ones are quinoa, whole wheat couscous (actually a pasta), whole wheat (or at least 50% whole grain) pasta, & bulgur. The more whole grains you add, the less room you will have for all the processed & refined foods that leave you feeling hungry & pack on the pounds. An easy way to check if something contains whole grains is to look for the word “whole” in the ingredients. 100% whole-wheat should be the first ingredient. If it just says “wheat flour”, then it is white flour that is brown in color. When you are baking & your recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use ½ cup white flour & ½ cup whole wheat flour until you get used to the taste & texture, then move to ¼ cup white & ¾ cup whole wheat until you can use all whole wheat. You can go straight to all whole wheat, which would be best, but sometimes it is easier to stick with it if you make the change gradually.

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Poblano Cornbread

Okay, the cornbread & chili taste even better the next day.  A good tip to reheat the cornbread so you still get a nice crunch on the outside is to heat it up in a skillet on the stove for a minute or two on each side.  It works fine in the microwave, but if you want a little crunch, the stovetop works best.  Oh that’s also the best way to reheat pizza too, although you don’t really want to flip that one over.  Debyi

Midway through September

The month is at its half, how are you doing on your journals?  I’ve been doing okay, haven’t been getting to it everyday, but I have been thinking about it everyday (as I take that bite of soy ice cream, knowing I shouldn’t have it because I’m not even hungry!), which means I an starting to be more aware of what I’m doing with my food.  As you work out, make sure you stretch afterwards too, my hamstrings are sooooo tight today, as always after too many downward dogs in yoga.  Well, I am making some chili tonight with cornbread baked in poblano peppers.  I am very excited!  I will have to let you know how they come out & take some pictures for you!  I need to go stir my chili, I filled the crockpot a little too full, more later.  Debyi

Have you journaled yet?

Have any of started your journaling yet?  I am actually surprised at how helpful it is to track your moods in your journal.  Our moods play a crucial roll in our exercis & eating habits.  I am an emotional eater, which I finally admited to myself through journaling.  I eat higher fat foods when I’m really stressed & I tend to eat more fruits & veggies when I am in a good mood.  When you are aware of it, it makes it a lot easier to change. 

Continue reading Have you journaled yet?