Sunday, September 30, 2012

Start Today!

I know that I am 100% guilty of saying, "I will do it tomorrow", and I say it a lot! For example I saw a Do It Yourself project on Pinterest where you put the outfit your baby came home from the hospital in a frame, with a card that has all their stats on it as well as a picture of them in the outfit. Well I bought the frame, laid out all of the things that go in it, sat it down, walked away and thought..I will do it tomorrow. Well here it is tomorrow and it is sitting right where I left it! A shameful thing I know, but one thing that we are all guilty of at one point or another. Where I am going with this is that when I comes to starting your journey into weight loss or a  new life style, doing it tomorrow will not cut it.

Sure every now and then I have a rough day where I don't get to workout, or I may not eat as well as I want to but I count it, take credit for it, and then move on and start fresh. I always make sure to do it tomorrow, because if you don't then tomorrow will become a couple of days, then weeks, then months and next thing you know you have completely fallen off then wagon. I read a lot of stories  on SP where they say, I started a year ago..fell off the wagon..and here I am 30 pounds heavier than when I started. Those stories motivate me to push to stay on target and reach my goal. As well as reach out to people and congratulate them for realizing where they went wrong, and to help them make tomorrow easier to achieve.



This journey is not one you can do by yourself. You really need support from family, friends, whoever is closest to you. It can be very discouraging when doing it alone. I know from experience. But my partner, Dustin, really was the pushing factor that helped me get where I am and stills pushes me today. My family was not quite as supportive because they aren't willing to change their lives regardless of how unhealthy they are. Dustin is perfectly healthy and skinny, but decided to take this journey with me. He eats my health foods, even is screaming about starving, and tells me to get up and workout when I don't want to. He has made sure I have everything I need like good shoes, good foods, a gym pass, jogging stroller, the list is never ending. Without his support I don't know if I would have made it so far, especially considering how many people were trying to tear me down.

The biggest message I am trying to convey through this is to start TODAY! Start fresh even if you think you could have done better. Make sure you have a good system for support, and do not tear yourself down if you didn't quite reach your goals for the day. Instead pat yourself on the back for taking the plunge, doing your best, and know that I am proud of you for every step you take.

MAKE TODAY COUNT!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Prepping Meals

For the past two Weeks I have been prepping 5 days worth of food on Sunday. I takes me about 2 hours at the most, including clean up, to prepare them. I read an article that if you prep your meals you are less likely to overeat because you have measured meals on hand. Not to mention it makes on the go so much simpler!

At first I was terrified at the idea of having to cook so much food, and I had no idea where to start. I didn't know whether to cook for myself, or my whole family. Ask to Google I went. I found a great article that broke it all down into laments terms for us beginners.

It has really  helped me and it is another one of those things I highly recommend. Since I began prepping my meals I find myself full longer, as well as having the convenience of opening the fridge, grabbing a meal, heating it up, without the headache of having to get something together and measure or weigh it, while also adding up the calories. If my meals are the same everyday for lunch and dinners I already know how many calories I have used and how many I have left for snacks.

If you want to know more about meal prepping you should really read that article, and don't let the idea intimidate you like it did me!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mommy Time

Being a stay at home mom is a full time job and it especially frustrates me when people say it isn't! My work day begins at 7 in the morning and doesn't end until 11 or later at night. When I am not chasing a one year old around, cleaning house, washing laundry, mowing the yard, bathing the dog, cooking, running errands, or working out...I like to enjoy a little "Mommy Time".

Even though I am just a stay at home mom I need 30 minutes to myself every now and then too.

We moms really are not given the credit we are due for all the things we accomplish during the day. My significant other spends a few hours alone with our daughter and he is calling me ready to pull his hair out..yet I do it all day everyday. Then again I couldn't go work on semi trucks all day either. My point here is that no one should discredit what anyone does because they think it isn't hard work..every one has a different definition of what work is.

So next time you want to call someone lazy..stop and think..could you do what they do all day without complaint?


Rocky Road Quinoa

Just tried out a delicious recipe after getting bored with my old quinoa recipes. It is fabulous! For those of you that don't know what quinoa of..you need to introduce yourself. The biggest macro your body needs while losing weight is PROTEIN. You need to get at least 100 grams a day. Protein is a key component because out keeps you full longer, and staves off late night snacking. It is found in the Organic Isles!

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (cooked in 2 cups of water)
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa power
1/2 cup of walnuts
2 cups of mini  marshmallows

Directions:
Bring the quinoa to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, our until the quinoa have emerged from the shell. Mix in cocoa and walnuts. Allow to cool then add in the marshmallows (unless you prefer them melted). Then enjoy.

Serving size is 1/2 cup and yields approximately 252  calories.


Counting Calories Burned

When trying to lose weight you need to keep in mind that in order to lose one pounds week you must have a 3500 calorie deficit, in other words you need to burn or eat 3500 calories less than you do now to lose that pound. It's recommended that you lose only 1-2 pounds a well for health purposes as well as preventing lose skin.
There are different ways to reach this deficit, either cut you calories you are consuming by 500 a day, or burn 500 calories a day through exercise. Some people cut their intake by 250 calories and burn the other 250 through exercise. I went with cutting it out of my intake, all 500.
The first thing you need to do is find out what your BMR is. BMR is basic metabolic rate or the amount of calories your body needs in order to survive. I have provided a link to a BMR calculator. You then need to find you TDEE TDEE is your total daily energy expenditure or the amount of calories you burn with everyday activities. Eating below your TDEE but above your BMR will result in weight loss.
For example:
My TDEE is 2475-20%=1980
My BMR is 1680
Therefore if I eat 1980 calories a day, and exercise 3-5 days a week I will lose a steady 1-2 pounds a week.

For each 10 pounds you lose you need to recalculate your TDEE. However never eat below 1200 calories..that is dangerous.
If you plan to exercise for your deficit each day then I highly recommend investing in a good heart rate monitor, one that tracks your calories burned. If you can't afford to do that then average your heart rate during exercise and use this equation to find your burn. It is very accurate.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yummy Eat-Out Dinner!

We went out to Applebee's for dinner tonight..and I rarely eat out simply because it is not in the budget plus I hate to waste my calories! However I figured it has been a while and it would be nice to treat myself. Before we left for the restaurant I got online and researched their menu..I love Google! They have what I call diet friendly foods..which are dinners that are only 550 calories a piece. HOORAY!!!

There were only a few to choose from but they all sounded yummy. I was torn between salad, steak, chicken, shrimp..there are quite a few. I decided on the sirloin with garlic shrimp, garlic potatoes and broccoli. The steak was 7oz and a recommended serving size is 4oz (not to mention the 6 shrimp), so that was a bit much. However there was about a cup of broccoli and 1/2 cup of potatoes, which is pretty accurate. When trying to spot good portion sizes at a restaurant think like this: 1/2 plate veggie, 1/4 starch, 1/4 lean meat. That is basically what I was served.

It was so yummy! On top of my steak was a great salsa like topping with almonds (every weight watchers friend) so I didn't need a dipping sauce (which I rarely use anyways). The potatoes had wonderful flavor, and the broccoli I can eat any way, cooked or raw. All in all it was right around 600 calories so they were pretty accurate..not to mention I enjoyed a lovely (calorie friendly) dinner with my family.


Number 1's and Number 2's (Reader Beware)

This is a sensitive subject, even more so for is ladies, the bathroom..

Dun-Dun-Dun! *cue scary music*

But in all seriousness this really is something we never want to discuss. I know I never did..not until it all changed drastically.

When I was eating whatever I wanted and however much I wanted I was never 'regular' and fought constipation regularly. When it came to urination there were smells, colors, things it shouldn't be. Ever had any of those problems?

Of course you have! We are human its part of the package unfortunately. But one thing I have learned is all the ugliness of it is 100% diet related. If you put garbage in it..your body will put garbage out of it!

As I said before the first thing I did was started downing water..practically drowning in it. Well I started peeing every 5 minutes, literally. It started out (TMI) yellow, then pale yellow, and finally clear. It went from having odd smells to no smell. Amazing in my opinion..no more stinky pee! Not to mention my back quit hurting!

Once I began to change they way I ate (TMI) my body began to change how it shipped it out. It changed in frequency, color, size, form, smell..and scared the poo out of me (pun intended). Going from not going to going regular was so refreshing. And the first time I ate junk food, McDonalds in particular, it gave me a bad case of diarrhea. So to save myself time, dehydration, and raw bum I eat out once in a blue moon. Think of all the money we save now!

So for those of you eating a poor diet and not taking in enough water..your bladder and colon could really user a reprieve!

Great FREE tools!

One of the best words in the English dictionary us the word FREE! Do with that in mind please bare with me a second.

One of the best things I started when I began this journey was logging my food and exercise. At first I would just write it all in notebook but eventually that got harder to do while on the go. So I decided to check in my Android market for a food tracking app. I found many! And most of them free! I currently use  2 simply because I do not know which I like best they are:

Myfitnesspal
Sparkpeople

Both are great sites but each has their flaws and perks. MFP is great for logging food because it has a bigger data base and you can enter in your homemade meals more easily but the community in my opinion is not as friendly as SP. On SP the calories burned while tracking fitness is more accurate than MFP because it is greatly known that MFP over calculates.

I tend to use SP more now because I like the Web page they have (both can be accessed from the computer if you do not have an Android). To each their own I guess.

However the take away from this to log your food and exercise so that you can physically see what you are consuming and how many calories as well. Both sites also give you an estimated amount of calories you should consume according to your stats. When out comes to exercise however the truest way to tell what you burn during exercise I'd with a heart rate monitor. Guesstimating will hurt you not help you. I will discuss my lesson learned with this later.

Either way check them out they are great to help you get started!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

One of the greatest fears that most people have about eating healthy is that famous saying:

"If it tastes good it is bad for you, spit it out!" also "Eating healthy is expensive!"

...And that is the biggest pile of poo I have ever heard. Everything  I cook is delicious and well worth sharing. I also have a mere $200-250 grocery budget for 3..and we make due each month! So I will share some of my favorite recipes here and there, as well as my favorite markets to buy cheap and affordable food!

This is my all time favorite (and Scarletts) dessert recipe! Enjoy!

WHOLE WHEAT APPLE MUFFINS 
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 c. peeled, chopped Golden Delicious apple
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. skim milk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray


Combine 1/2 cup all purpose flour and apple in a bowl, tossing gently to coat; set aside. Combine remaining cup all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, oil, and egg whites in a bowl; stir well. Add milk mixture and apple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with vegetable cooking spray, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove muffins from pans; let cool on a wire rack. Yields 1 dozen (about 149 calories each).


How to start: Portion Distortion

Once you begin a life style transformation, and started sucking down water, its time to find your motivation. Mine was seeing myself categorized as obese, and perhaps yours is the same. Other things fueled my fire like my daughter, my love, and my mortality! People die at such young ages now because there simply is no drive to be healthy. Everything is fast food, easy access, and microwavable. And when we think we need to lose a few quick pounds is easier to fad diet then change bad habits, or learn portion control.

No need to lie, that is not why I am here, I tried SlimFast trying to kick start my weight loss. I figured the structure and simplicity of this 'miracle' meal replacement would help lose the first 20 pounds, and teach me how to control things. All it did was cost me money, lost a couple pounds, and a headache. Sure it was easy all I had to do was drink 2 shakes a day, eat 3 small snacks, and one well balanced 500 calorie dinner..and BAM lose weight! Well it didn't happen. That's when I decided I had to learn how to eat right, and went back to researching.

The next and best piece of advice I can offer is to measure, weigh, and dole out appropriate portion sizes for everything you eat!



If the bag of chips says a serving size is 12 chips..count out ONLY 12 chips!

If peanut butter says 2 tablespoons use ONLY 2 tablespoons!

They put serving sizes on food for a reason. That is the recommended size you should eat, no more than that.  Americans have a distorted view of a portion size because of television and restaurants. When you walk into a McDonald's the first thing they ask after you order, "Would you like to make that a large?" This is one of the leading causes for obesity in America. The Super Size!

When trying to lose weight I have read repeatedly that it is 80% diet and 20% exercise. In another words you cannot exercise away a bad diet! Eating well balanced foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats along with regular exercise will provide you with the best weight loss results. And just because I have a new healthy diet does not mean I do not allow myself a treat now and again. I enjoy sweets just as much as the next gal, only now I make them with healthier alternatives, and eat the right portion size. When I bake my yummy Whole Wheat Apple Muffins(will share recipes), I eat only one. That is all I need.

So now that I have shared that tip I recommend you go out and invest in a kitchen scale, and a good set of measuring cups. Tonight give it a test run. Place what you would normally serve yourself of dinner on your plate, look up the right serving size, then measure that out. You will see how truly distorted your portion eye is!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Where To Start:

As a stay at home mom I spend a lot of time talking to a one year old, and while she is funny and smart, she is not quite the conversationalist yet. Her gurgles and giggles consume my day from eight in the morning until eight at night, pretty much around the clock. Since she was born I have been on the go, with hardly anytime to myself, and I figured what better way to vent then through a blog, and with people that are going to understand. I also hope to help those looking to shed a few pounds!

Scarlett was born in August of last year, and after I had her I began to think of all the things in my life that are good and bad, The biggest bad was my health. I was 50 pounds overweight and predisposed to diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart problems, cancer (you name it and it is there). And I realized that if I did not change my ways I wasn't going to be around long enough to see her reach all of the milestones in her life.

My Ah-ha! moment was when I went to the doctor and they told me that I was obese! Me obese?! I had never been considered obese..I was average..until after baby and staying home all day stuffing my face. That doctor telling me that basically I was fat was the motivation I needed to get my stuff together and change my life.

That night, after my doctors appointment, I went home and began researching the first steps to over hauling an unhealthy life. The number one thing I read was do not jump in with both feet, but take it a toe at a time. So I did. I began making small changes. The first was I stopped drinking soda, tea, juice anything with artificial sweeteners. And instead started drinking water.

Ugh, water! Just plain H2O. With a cup of almond milk in the morning.

I lost an instant 10 pounds because I wasn't retaining water anymore.

It is truly amazing how the simple things like drinking water can improve your health. I noticed changes within a few days of drinking just water (not just weight loss). My skin was healthier, I went pee a lot more which is good because that means your kidneys are filtering better, and I didn't seem to want to snack as much. So I would have to say that my first piece of advice to someone looking to start a healthier lifestyle as well as trying to lose weight is cut out any unnecessary liquid calories. The only thing to drink you really need is water. And most of the time when you feel hungry it is simply your body telling you to have a good ol' cup of H2O.