Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

Another Summer time favorite!!!

Was POINTS® Value: 9
Now POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 25 min

24 medium strawberries, about 10 oz, hulled and quartered (reserve 6 whole berries for garnish)
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
4 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, chilled and cut into pieces
2/3 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
2 tsp fat-free skim milk
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup(s) fat-free whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine quartered strawberries and orange juice; toss to combine. Set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, 6 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder and salt. Add margarine; mix together with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of milk; mix until a manageable dough forms.
4. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1-inch thickness. Using a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (or round glass), cut dough into six circles. Transfer rounds to baking sheet. Brush tops with 2 teaspoons milk and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
5. Bake until puffed up and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and, while still warm, split in half crosswise (like an English muffin).
6. Spoon 1/3 cup of strawberries onto bottom half of each shortcake round. Top with sugar-coated second half. Spoon 2 tablespoons of whipped topping on top and garnish each with a whole strawberry.

WW renovated Strawberry Shortcake by:
Using reduced-calorie margarine instead of butter in the dough.
Swapping fat-free milk for whole milk.
Coating the dough with fat-free milk instead of beaten egg.
Reducing the amount of sugar in the dough and using orange juice to replace sugar in the berry filling.

*recipe and picture from WW*

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

25 Little Tips for Big Weight Loss

Another good one from WW!

Feel like you need a boost? Perhaps you've hit a plateau? Now is the perfect time to take stock of your life and to make some long-overdue changes. But adjusting eating and exercise habits can seem so daunting, it's no wonder that some of us never make it beyond the first day! So what's the best way to get started?

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, bak choy, 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.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whittle Your Middle

I've been posting a lot of Jillian Michaels post lately, however I've been trying to educate myself more on the benefits of weight loss... plus I'm way behind in my Inbox and thought I would do some catching up and share them with you!

More Reasons to Whittle Your Middle

I think we can all agree that "muffin tops" — the fat hanging over the waist of a too tight pair of pants — and beer bellies aren't attractive. Still, when it comes to excess belly fat, the situation is more serious than how you look. Excess belly fat has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and stress.

When you have stress, your body releases certain "fight-or-flight" stress hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands: cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine. When you first get stressed, these hormones kick into gear. Norepinephrine tells your body to stop producing insulin so that you can have plenty of fast-acting blood glucose ready. Epinephrine will relax the muscles in your stomach and intestines and decrease blood flow to these organs. Once the stressor has passed, cortisol tells the body to stop producing these hormones and to go back to digesting regularly. It's normal for your cortisol levels to go up and down throughout the day, but when you are chronically stressed your cortisol level goes up — and stays there.

When your stress and cortisol levels are high, the body actually resists weight loss. Your body thinks times are hard and you might starve, so it hoards the fat you eat or have present on your body. Cortisol tends to take fat from healthier areas, like your butt and hips, and move it to your abdomen which has more cortisol receptors. Hello ab flab! In the process, it turns once–healthy peripheral fat into unhealthy visceral fat (the fat in your abdomen that surrounds your organs) that increases inflammation and insulin resistance in the body. This belly fat then leads to more cortisol because it has higher concentrations of an enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. The more belly fat you have, the more active cortisol will be converted by these enzymes — yet another vicious cycle created by visceral fat.

So what if you have belly fat? Lose weight by following the best nutrition and lifestyle strategies that support you in times of stress, like the ones in my program. When you limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams a day, avoid simple carbs, processed foods, and refined grains, and get plenty of high-quality protein, in addition to de-stressing yourself, you'll automatically help your body keep your stress hormones, especially cortisol, lower. It's a day by day choice you'll have to make, but the results will be worth. Think how good it will be when you are as healthy on the inside as you look on the outside.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Crepes

During the hot summer months, my husband and I like to eat foods that are light on the stomach.  I coudln't resist sharing this recipe I found on Weight Watchers.  You don't have to be a member of WW's online community to be able to get a sample of their recipies.  In my old blog, I wrote how I haven't had much success with WW (but love the articles and recipes!).  I think it's becuase I never really tried.  It was always to easy for me to cheat.  I know it works, my cousins Barbara and Stephanie are having excellent success on WW.  

Back to the recipe...  Fresh Strawberry Crepes!

Fresh Strawberry Crepes

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 32 min

5 large egg white(s)
1/8 tsp table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
8 spray(s) cooking spray
1 pound(s) strawberries, hulled and sliced very thin (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup(s) powdered sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, salt, vanilla extract, melted butter, milk and flour until just combined.
2. Coat an 8- or 9-inch skillet with cooking spray; set over medium heat. When pan is hot, add 1/4 cup of batter and tilt skillet to cover entire bottom of pan with a thin layer of batter. Cook for 2 minutes; flip over. Top with about 1/3 cup strawberries; cook for 2 minutes more. Fold crepe over and slide onto a serving plate; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients; sprinkle with sugar. Yields 1 crepe per serving.

To see if the pan is hot, add a few droplets of water – if they sizzle, the pan is ready.
These crepes can be filled with any berries you have on hand – or spread them with fruit preserves.

*recipe and picture from weightwatchers.*

Saturday, June 26, 2010

4 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight

Weight Watchers released another good article this week about 4 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight. I have to say that I can relate to #2 and #3! I bought my huband some cookies the other day, he had a couple and left the bag out on the counter, before I knew it, I was plopped down in front of the TV with a glass of milk and the whole bag of cookies!

Here's the article:
If the scale isn't budging, you might want to consider these possibilities

If you're sticking to your weight-loss plan and the pounds aren't coming off, chances are you're sneaking extra calories and POINTS® values into your day.

But sometimes the reason behind the unaccounted for calories is subtle. If that sounds like you, see if one of the following is to blame.

1. You need more sleep.
People who sleep less than 7 hours a night are more likely to gain weight than those who sleep more, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Sleep deprivation causes a cascade of physiological effects, including changes in the hormones that regulate hunger.

A study showed that married couples who joined an exercise program together were 94 percent less likely to drop out after a year compared to people who joined separately.

"For those who have difficulty falling to sleep or staying asleep, regular exercise will help you fall asleep and improve your sleep quality," says the study's author Sanjay Patel, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. So will the common-sense measures of avoiding alcohol, nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime, and keeping a regular schedule for getting to bed.

2. You're watching too much TV.
"Time spent watching television has been linked to increased weight gain and obesity," Patel says. In fact, a 2006 study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Diseases found that more than two hours of television watching per day was associated with a high body mass index (BMI) in men and women, which translates to being overweight or obese.

3. Your significant other isn't a healthy eater.
For better or for worse, your partner's eating habits greatly affect yours. University of Minnesota research showed that married couples share similar body mass indexes. The same environment and shared meals are the culprits, researchers found. The key is to convince your partner to become an asset to your weight-loss goals, and vice versa. One area to share and encourage one another in is exercise. A study at Indiana University showed that married couples who joined an exercise program together were 94 percent less likely to drop out after a year than people who joined separately.

4. You don't eat breakfast.
Eating breakfast will make you less likely to overeat throughout the day. Research from the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks Americans who have successfully lost weight in the long term, showed that nearly all of the 3,000 people, who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year ate breakfast every morning.

Says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, LN, a nutrition scientist at the USDA Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University, "When you skip a meal you start setting yourself up for starvation mode. Then you start just wanting to grab anything and you lose that ability to register when you've had enough."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

20 Ways to Cut Calories

I only disagree with one of these, The Biggest Loser promotes drinking Milk, and in this article she is telling people not to drink it.... the rest of these tips are great! I'm really gonna start trying the "Leave 3 bites"!

20 Ways to Cut Calories
Emily Fonnesbeck is the Registered Dietitian for the Biggest Loser Resort, and joins us today to share some must-have tips to help you manage calorie consumption and weight loss.

Chances are you have heard some of these suggestions before. But just because you have heard them, doesn’t mean you are actually doing them! Take a good hard look at what you are currently doing and decide where you can slash some calories. Some of these are easy as long as you are committed!

1. Quit drinking your calories. This includes milk, juice, alcohol, sweetened tea and coffee with sugar and cream. You’re quenching thirst with added calories.

2. Eat more often. That’s right, if you are going too long in between meals, you are probably overly hungry and eating too much.

3. Switch to leaner proteins. Poultry or fish instead of red meat. Skim or low fat milk and dairy instead of whole. Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds work well too!

4. Add in produce. Every time you eat, make sure it includes a fruit or vegetable. This will add volume and bulk without all the calories.

5. Go veg. Try to make two lunches and two dinners each week vegetarian. Meats can be high in calories, especially for the portion sizes that we currently eat. Case in point, 8 oz. of salmon (the size of fillet you would buy or order eating out) is 440 calories.

6. Substitute. Take original recipes and use this substitution list to lighten up family favorites.

7. Use lower calorie condiments. Try mustard, ketchup, canola or olive oil based mayonnaise, vinegar, light oil based dressings, worcestershire sauce, light soy sauce, hot sauce, lemon/lime juice, horseradish, salsa, relish, herbs and spices for added flavor without the calories. Order all condiments on the side when eating out.

8. Downsize. Use mini-bagels, pre-portioned yogurts, cheese or ice cream bars, order half size entrees or salads at restaurants and choose smaller fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Look for easy ways to watch portions.

9. Ditch the sugar. Look for unsweetened or lower sugar fruits, cereals, granola bars, condiments, etc.

10. Leave 3 bites on your plate. You don’t have to finish it! And by starting with 3, you will realize that it is possible.

11. Go fresh. Eat the whole food instead of the processed version: an apple instead of applesauce, chicken breast instead of the chicken nugget, plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurts.

12. Bake lighter. Anytime you are baking, cut sugar by 1/2 and fat by 1/3 and you will still get good results.

13. Eat for volume. Start your meal with a broth based soup or a large salad. This will fill you up without adding calories.

14. Get adequate sleep. If you aren’t sleeping 7-8 hours at night, your Leptin hormone level may be lower resulting in weight gain. You’re also awake more hours, which means more hours to eat!

15. Stay hydrated. That way you won’t mistake hunger for thirst.

16. Eat at home. Meals eaten at home are much lower in calories, fat and sodium and higher in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

17. Be picky. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it! Make sure it is worth it.

18. Be assertive. Don’t be afraid to order food the way you want it. Some examples: order meats grilled “dry” (without butter or oil), steamed veggies without butter, ask for whole grain options and order condiments on the side.

19. Be mindful. Quit nibbling on dinner before you eat it. Don’t take bites out of your kids’ food. Take the long walk around the office avoiding the candy dish.

20. Eat breakfast! Studies show you will eat less overall by starting with a healthy, balanced breakfast.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

op of the flood and stress, i forgot to pay 3 bills! I know once we move and get our life on track i will be so ready to go! I hope all is doing well!
husband and i decided it was time to move. We have one week to pack and move. We applied at one place but its taken for ever for then to approve us. On t
A quick little update. I have fallen off the wagon...again. Ive been so stressed. Our apartment floods everytime it rains. The managers never fix it. My

Understanding Insulin Resistance

I had to post this article from Jillian Michales becuase I am Insulin Resistant and actually learned a couple new things from this article!

Understanding Insulin Resistance

We heard a lot about insulin in the days of low-carb diets. And for good reason. Problems with insulin are a root cause of some of the most dangerous health conditions, as insulin affects almost every cell in the body.

Insulin plays a critical role in how your body uses food. Its most important role is to lower the concentration of glucose in your blood. When you eat, your digestive system breaks food down into glucose, and the glucose recirculates in your blood stream. In response to the rise in glucose after a meal, the pancreas releases surges of insulin, whose job is to clean the glucose from the blood. Some of the glucose is diverted into the liver, where it's converted into stored glucose, called glycogen, for later use by the muscles. Insulin then helps turn any leftover glucose into fatty acids and stores them in fat cells where they can be tapped later for fuel.

By making poor food choices, like scarfing down too many highly processed, refined carbs (like white bread and pasta!), we can do things to cause our bodies to create too much insulin. When you repeat that cycle too many times (like by repeatedly eating sugary junk on an empty stomach) your pancreas will overcompensate and produce more insulin, which your cells will eventually start to ignore. This is called insulin resistance and it is the precursor to type 2 diabetes and it is common in overweight people. Turned away at the door, the sugar is left with no where to go. If it hangs around in your blood too long, doctors call this impaired fasting glucose (if measured in the morning) or impaired glucose tolerance (if measured two hours after a meal). You could develop full-blown diabetes if both conditions go unchecked.

While high levels of blood glucose trigger insulin release, low levels suppress it, Maintaining low levels of insulin — one of the primary goals of the diet — allows your body to more easily tap in to your stored fat for fuel. Conversely, being insulin-resistant can hamper your weight-loss efforts. Try to avoid spikes in your blood sugar, by eating regularly. Pair carbs with protein, eat whole foods, avoid sugar juices and fruits, and highly-processed carbs. When your insulin-release mechanism works the right way, it helps keep your weight in check. So strive to keep it balanced!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Heart Disease

WeightWatchers put out a fabulous article on the benefits of losing weight and Heart Disease.

Losing weight can do more than make you look better — it can save your life by reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

The weight-heart connection is simple: Weight loss is an important shield against coronary heart disease.

If there is heart disease in your family, or you're on prescriptions for blood pressure, or your doctor warns you about extra heart risks, you may feel a bit like disease is your destiny. But take heart. In its Guidelines for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, The National Institutes of Health report that a 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss can make a huge difference, and February — American Heart Month — is a great time to pick up the pace toward your weight goal.

But first, find out what losing weight can do for you. It can:

•Lower the scary numbers. "Obese people frequently have abnormal blood-cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure and even sometimes bigger hearts," says Gerald Fletcher, MD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. All of these things are risk factors for heart disease, but losing weight can help you reverse them.

•Do double duty. Overweight and obesity are independently linked to heart disease, too. "Until a few years ago, it was thought to be an indirect link (for example, excess weight causes elevated cholesterol, which causes heart disease), but now we know that even if blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, extra weight can mean extra risk for heart disease," says Karen Miller-Kovach, Weight Watchers chief scientist. So when you lose weight, you can get double and triple benefits — you'll lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and you'll conquer a primary risk factor for heart disease.

•Work overtime. You don't have to wait for your weight goal to see a difference in your heart health. "When it comes to heart disease and weight, there's an exponential curve," says Miller-Kovach. "A little bit of extra weight increases your risk for heart disease a little bit, and vice versa." In other words, a little bit of weight loss decreases your risk a little bit.

•Add exercise to the equation. As you're losing weight, you're more likely to start exercising, which has bonuses of its own: "Exercise has been recognized as an independent positive factor to heart health," says Miller-Kovach. "We now know that exercise tends to mobilize the fat stores in the abdomen, which are the ones that put you at the greatest risk for heart disease." Plus, says Fletcher, in addition to preserving "good" cholesterol, exercise will help you control your blood pressure, among other things.

•Help at any age... "Age factors into [the weight-heart connection] prominently," says Miller-Kovach. "Being slightly obese at a younger age causes a greater increase in risk of heart disease than does being slightly obese and elderly." In other words: It's not just how much weight you have, it's how old you are. So you might reconsider the idea that there's no reason to worry about your heart until you're older.

•...and no matter who you are. Weight loss will improve the heart health of both men and women. (Women, take note: After menopause, you're just as likely as a man to suffer from heart disease.) It will also make a difference even if you're African-American, Hispanic or Native American, populations that are said to be at a higher risk for high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

According to a 2006 report published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, "diet and lifestyle therapies remain the foundation of clinical intervention for prevention." In other words, while drug treatments and surgical procedures can treat cardiovascular disease, the best protection you can get comes from eating right and exercising.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Low Impact Cardio

Another good e-mail from Jillian Michaels on Low Impact Cardio!

Got a bad back, bum knee, or trick hip? These kinds of injuries can prevent you from doing typical cardio exercises like biking and jogging. Sometimes even walking is painful. But an old injury isn't a free pass to skip your cardio routine! There are plenty of other lower-impact cardio exercises to choose from.

It might be time to hop in the pool — swimming is kinder to your body than land-based exercise because your natural buoyancy in water helps you avoid the jarring knocks that can cause injuries. In water, you weigh about a tenth of your normal weight, and the range of motion for the less-fit person is much wider because the water supports the weight of the limbs. So, swimming is a good choice for people who want to exercise, but who might have problems with weight-bearing, land-based activities. Swimming might suit those who have arthritis or back problems, extreme weight problems, or are pregnant. To mix things up and target different muscles, vary your strokes during your swim between breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke.

Monday, June 7, 2010

7 Simple Changes That Will Help With Weight Loss

7 Simple Changes That Will Help With Weight Loss

For me having such bad luck on Weight Watchers, they sure do have some good articles!

Try these tips for small changes that can lead to very big weight-loss results.

Beginning a weight-loss plan doesn't have to mean drastic changes. You don't need to live at the gym or subsist on crackers alone to get your eating and exercising on track.

Instead, think of more realistic, sustainable changes you can make to your lifestyle. Sometimes small, simple adjustments can produce the biggest results. Consider these suggestions, and think about what other small changes might work for you.

•Trim back your eating a bit here and there, not altogether. For example, sauté your broccoli with one teaspoon of oil instead of two.
•Make some wise food substitutions, like opting for low-fat cream cheese instead of regular.
•Kick it up a notch in the activity department by taking the stairs instead of the escalator.
All or Nothing
"People put too much pressure on themselves to change everything in their diets, which sets them up for failure," believes New York-based registered dietitian Shari Mermelstein. Her advice? Set your sights on making several small dietary and lifestyle changes, and you'll lose weight without really missing out.

Need some incentive? Try this on for size: Cut back 100 calories on a daily basis and you could lose about 10 1/2 pounds in a year. One hundred calories equals:
•1 cup of regular soda
•1 tablespoon of butter
•1 ounce of cheese

Skimming Off the Top
Here are seven simple slim-down ideas:
1. A spoonful of sugar can add up over the course of a year. Add one less teaspoon of sugar (15 calories) to your cup of morning and afternoon coffee each day and you'll save about 10,000 calories—the equivalent of about 3 pounds per year.
2. Slim down that bowl of cereal: Switch from 1 cup regular whole milk to 1% milk (about 50 calories less per cup) every day. Once your taste buds adjust, you'll be thrilled! That's a tad more than 5 pounds lost by this time next year.
3. Take the scenic route. Park your car as far as possible from the entrance to your office, the shopping mall or a restaurant and get those legs pumping. Ten minutes of daily moderate paced walking (five minutes each way burns about 20 calories) can take off over 4 pounds a year.*
4. Get your vitamin C boost with a whole orange (60 calories) instead of a cup of juice (110 calories) each day. Your 12-month weight loss: 5 1/4 pounds.
5. Go calorie-free by switching from regular to diet soda (150 versus 0 calories per can). If you drink one can per day, that's nearly 16 pounds lost in a year.
6. Flavor your sandwiches with very low-cal condiments like mustard or vinegar instead of calorie-packed mayo. Leave off 1 tablespoon (100 calories) every day and you're looking at close to 10 1/2 pounds a year.
7. Downsize, don't super-size, fast food meals. Opt for a small McDonald's French fries (250 calories) instead of a large order (570 calories) at your weekly fast-food meal. You'll enjoy the same great taste all year long but with an added bonus: almost 5 pounds lost.

*For a 155-pound person at 3 miles per hour. Based on calculations from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What will keep me going....

Back in March I posted on my King Adventures Blog, ressons that will keep me going on my diet.  I haven't totally forgotten about my reasons, however I haven't been thinking of them lately until my cousin Marie posted something similar on her blog.  I thought I would repost them "officially" on my blog specifically for my weightloss journey.  I will probably also go back through my old blog and pull some good weightloss information and repost on Pink Ninja Power. 

What will keep me going....

Lately I have been so stressed about things that I have been really screwing up my diet. I haven't focused on me or my diet... my life change... for the past month. A week or so ago I posted that I was so ready to get back on track... well it hasn't happened yet. I have a couple other blogs to catch up on and hope to get them done today. But on to "What Will Keep Me Going!"

In the past I have made a list as to why I wanted to lose weight. I was reading that list and realized that it was very motivational to me. However, my life has done a complete 360 since that list 3-4 years ago. I still have a lot on that list that will be put on to this list, however some things will change... like make mens heads turn, and to have men notice me and to be able to pick who I want to date, not just accept who wants to date me. I am married now and of course those things aren't inportant to me. Making this list also makes me realize that "morbidly obese" people have to go through so much in life that they shouldn't have too. I want to live a normal life and not worry about if I'm going to fit somewhere. I stopped living because of my size. I don't go to concerts or sporting games anymore becuase the seats are just too small. I make myself sick worrying if I will fit in the chairs at the job interviews I go on, and if I will fit on the airline this Spring. I've gained 100 pounds since that old list, and now my new list is twice as long. So let's get started. 
  1. To be healthy
  2. To have a baby
  3. To live a long happy life with my husband
  4. To be able to tie my shoes like a fit person does
  5. To not have to use a seat belt extender in my Jeep
  6. To fit in an airline seat
  7. To fit comfortably in a stadium seat (Royals, Chiefs, Sprint Center, Concerts)
  8. To own a pair of "Skinny Jeans"
  9. To own a "Little Black Dress"
  10. To run a mile with out feeling like I've died
  11. To be able to walk a flight or two of stairs without stopping
  12. To not have to shop in a "Plus Size" specialty store
  13. To be able to cross my legs
  14. To be able to wear high heels
  15. To be able to sit in a Restaurant Booth and not ask for a table
  16. To be able to go somewhere and not be stared at and made fun of
  17. To influence others my size and help them on their weight loss
 There's just a few on my list. I'll add more when they pop into my head. Hope everyone has a good day!

That was in March.  Here we are in May and I'm not able to do any of those things yet, but I'm not giving up! Good Luck to everyone and may the Power of the Pink Ninja be with you!

What is your BMI?

Another number we should all know.  Your BMI. 

My BMI at 415 pounds was 66.98. 
And at 398 pounds, my BMI is 64.23.  Yes we are going down!

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years.

BMI can be used to indicate if you are overweight, obese, underweight or normal. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. A score below 20 indicates that you may be underweight; a value above 25 indicates that you may be overweight.

Click HERE to enter in your information and find out what your BMI is.

18.5 or less Underweight

18.5 to 24.99 Normal Weight
25 to 29.99 Overweight
30 to 34.99 Obesity (Class 1)
35 to 39.99 Obesity (Class 2)
40 or greater Morbid Obesity

Please remember, however, that this is only one of many possible ways to assess your weight. If you have any concerns about your weight, please discuss them with your physician, who is in a position, unlike this BMI calculator, to address your specific individual situation.

This information and many other helpful tools can be found at

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I call that a diet? As I was sitting down to breakfast,  I  reread my previous post and was in shock.  I wrote it on Thursday and just got around to posting it today.  Yes, i took responsibility for the wrong choices last week... but dang, how many times can you flub up and still think you are heading in the right direction?  Once, maybe twice, I think is ok.. but a whole week worth?  It's time to refocus on what I really want.  Do I want to be able to just say "Im on a diet" or do I want to be able to "show" people that I am...

This morning, I go searching for breakfast... what do i get? a little chocolate creme filled cupcake and a glass of milk.  Talk about and excited fat girl, it was the last one!  I started to head back to the computer and realized what I had just done.  I turned back around, put the cup cake up, and poured a bowl of Total Whole Greain cereal and tossed in some fresh blueberries.

That's what I need to do more often.  Stop and ask myself if I am making a good choice, is this going to put me in the right direction?  Is this going to help me reach my goals?  And I hope I make the right choices from now on!

After feeling better about the cereal choice, I decided to post what I just saved my body in calories and nutrition compared to the cupcake.  Ladies and Gentleman... it's time for: THIS OR THAT!

Total Whole Grain w/Skim & Blueberries                     Chocolate Creme Filled Cupcake
Calories = 160                                                             Calories = 165
Fat = 1.12g                                                                  Fat = 7.5g
Carbs = 34                                                                  Carbs = 24
Sugar = 8.6                                                                  Sugar = 16
Sodium = 260.25                                                         Sodium = 130
Vitamins out the wazoo!                                               less then 10% vitamins

How was your week?

Hello! How’s everyone doing? Good? Fantastic! I wish I could say the same. I’ve been stressed out about money lately and all I’ve done is EAT! Not what I need to be doing.

I guess this week hasn’t totally been bad, I shouldn’t sulk in all the bad things I did. That is what has thrown me off the “Pink Ninja Express” in the past. Too much focus on what was wrong and what I should have done. Instead, take responsibility for what I did, good or bad, and keep moving forward.

I did learn that Stress is a trigger that causes me to eat! And now I just need to work on not eating when I’m stressed. That seems a lot easier said then done! I had an oatmeal cookie… yes just one! I was able to turn down the temptation of a whole box of them staring at me every day this week at work. Oh and Birthday Cake! I didn’t eat it! I was so proud of myself! Cake is one of my favorite things in the world, and I didn’t eat it! Another big achievement, the husband and I didn’t eat dinner out at all this week! I drank more water and ate more vegetables then I’ve ate this whole year! I did fail and have a few of those dingdong cupcakes and McDonalds breakfast. But over all, I felt that this was a step in the right direction. Oh, wait a minute, I had a miniature KitKat… I don’t even like them that much, it was just there!

Weekend Goals: Drink 8 glasses of water and exercise for 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

Pink Ninja Power!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Your BMR?

I think it's important to know your numbers before starting your diet.  Or find your numbers  riht after you start becuase you'll see where you are and have a good idea of where you want to go.

I calculated mine and it turns out to be 2526.2 at Jillian Michaels website. Click here to figure yours, or follow the formula below.

Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns in a day when operating at absolute minimum capacity. It is the number of calories your body burns just to maintain your heartbeat, digestion, respiration, tissue repair and other organ functions.

BMR is influenced by a number of factors, including age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, and diet and exercise habits. Because of these varying factors, it's hard to pin down your BMR to the precise calorie, but we can get pretty close. Here are some formulas for figuring out your BMR. Get out your calculator and plug your numbers into whichever formula applies to you.

MALE: 66 + (6.3 × body weight in pounds) + (12.9 × height in inches) − (6.8 × age in years)
FEMALE: 655 + (4.3 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) − (4.7 × age in years)

Your basal metabolic rate accounts for only about 75 percent of your total daily caloric expenditure, so to learn more about how to apply it to your calorie needs, check out Jillian's Website now.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Step on up!

...its time to take responsibility for what I have done.   I had to go and purchase a special scale that would be able to withstand my weight.  I would rely on the scale at the doctors office, however the last time I stepped on it, it actually said "Max Limit".  Wow... as if numbers weren't ugly enough, now the scale is telling me I've reached max capacity.  If you've followed my other blog in the past, you know I've been having constant struggles with my weight.  I started 2010 out weighing 415 pounds.  I'm certain that I've weighed more then that over the past year, but that was my highest number recorded. 

In the past, I've been very ashamed and embarassed of who I am.  What I have made myself to be, a 31 year old Morbidly Obese woman.  But it's time for me to face myself.  Putting the truth on my blog, in words and pictures.  So many Weight Blogs don't list weights or measurements and they rarely post any pictures of them.  I'm working on pictures and measurements and will post them as soon as I can.  No more hiding behind this 400 pound body.  That's 4 super models! or 3 average size adults femalesor a playground full of children!

I stepped on my scale this week and was very excited to see me below the 400 pound mark. 398.6.  This is a huge step for me, I never tell my weight to anyone.  But I've realized I have to face this journey and take the world head on.  I've spent many years not going places and not having cute clothes because I was afraid of the world and what they might say.  I've been hurt so many times by total strangers in my life then anyone should ever have too. I'm putting it all out there to overcome a lot of fears and face what I've done to my body and life. I'm ready to start living life for the first time.  I'm not letting anyone get me down anymore.  Look out world, here I come!

Vegatable Steamer = 2 thumbs up!

So, I've got to tell you about my new "Taylor" brand vegatable steamer!  I bought it at the begining of this year at Kmart for $17 dollars.  It is endorsed by the Biggest Loser.  While I was there, I also picked up the Taylor -Biggest loser endorsed, electronic food scale for $17!  I did not take my diet seriously at the first of the year and these items didn't get used. 

But now I've found my motivation and I am ready! This steamer is awesome!  And so much cheaper then the Ziploc Steamer bags.  Last night I fixed us steamed zuccini, yellow squash and carrots.. never in a million years would I have thought I would like Zuccini and Squash!  I once heard a dietician tell a client to not suffer and eat things you don't like...  Well I agree to a point, however I didn't get this way eating things I didn't like, I got this way eating things I do like!  duh! Back to my meal:  I also seared some Ahi Tuna Steaks and finished the meal off with cottage cheese.  It was so much better then spending the evening eating out at fast food chains!  On the Ahi Tuna Steaks, I got my pan and olive oil as hot as i could and prepared the Tuna with Emerial's Seasoning.  For rare Tuna (which is recommened) cook the Tuna on each side for about 1 1/2 minutes.  I wasn't that brave so I cooked mine about 5 minutes on each side on medium/medium high heat.  My husband really enjoyed the meal too.  I'm a total dork, so here are a few pictures of my meal. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pink Ninja Power!

Hello!  So far I have no followers on my blog, however this is just day one!  I've sat around all day trying to think of a quirky, memorable Blog Title and nothing was grabbing me.  I thought long and hard and realized the whole reason for this blog is to get my butt healthy.  And my inspiration has been the Pink Ninja, Ashley, from season 9 of the biggest loser.  So there we have it... Pink Ninja Power!

I hope to put pictures, weight and measurements on here soon.  I'm letting it all out.  No secrets.  I have tried to hide my body and size all my life.  I plan to take a picture in a sports bra and biker shorts, just like they do on the biggest loser.  I've read that they have contestants dress like this to make them see and realize what they have done to themselves.  No more hiding.

In this blog, I hope to post my daily struggles, my celebrations, my goals, healthy information, recipies and other weight loss information I can find. 
Before I leave, thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back.  I love hearing success stories and advice, so drop me a line!  Oh, one more thing, CONGRATS ASHLEY! YOU ARE FABULOUS!  PINK NINJA POWER!