Fall Refresh

It’s Fall!🍁  Time to hit the REFRESH button.

What do I mean??  Well, if you’ve followed this little blog, you know I have purposely tried to eat healthy more often than not. For some reason that is easier to do during Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons, than summer.  The long daylight hours, more physical activity, and hot weather just makes me hungrier.  I eat more; which means I gain pounds usually.  Frankly, healthy eating can get oooold!😒 (Because fattening food is more fun 😂).

This summer I really tried to just maintain. I did eat a few more calories per day, around 1500-1800 per day on average, but I also ‘moved’ more so I guess it all balances out because I lost 3 pounds overall this summer.

I’m that hard stage right now where weight loss is not the real issue, but just staying on a good path, eating food clean food, and moving my body.

Fall is a good time to REFRESH and REFOCUS!

Today I am encouraging and motivating myself so tomorrow, Monday’ I am ready!  I will likely on Monday and Tuesday morning until 1pm drink lemon water, ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), cayenne pepper, honey just to give my body a rest. (check here for more info on the drink – use your good sense people, I’m no doctor).  Then I eat lots of veggies.  This seems to give my mind and body time to get in sync and detox a bit.

You know I love my veggies and the cooler weather has me thinking about roasted Brussels sprouts, rutabagas, kale, greens, and crockpot soups. Yum!

I just found this information I had saved in my files… good motivation. Food really is medicine!

God's Pharmacy

Over the past 14 months I’ve learned to listen to what my body is saying in terms of cravings. I now know if I am craving certain foods it’s usually due to my food intake being a little unbalanced. This table helped a lot.

Check this out too!  It might help if you need a Fall Refresh as well!

File Apr 23, 9 37 32 PM

Keep up the good work!  Let me know how you are doing!

👍🏽💛🌺🍂

Looks Yucky … But Tastes Great 👍🏽

The hardest part of eating healthy for me is keeping the food variety going strong. Once I find a healthy calorie-smart delicious food I tend to stick with it, but after a while even the most fave food can become b.o.r.i.n.g. So, I am always in search of new and different (but not too crazy) foods.

Here are some foods I rarely ate before that are now a part of my regular food list:

  • cottage cheese
  • Spaghetti squash
  • mustard
  • eggs (straight from the farm)
  • riced cauliflower

A couple weeks ago I discovered a new food. Flatout light flat bread! Oh my! It’s perfect!  I eat a lot of red/yellow/orange/green peppers, cubes, sweet onions, and lettuce…basically salad…but after eating so many of them, even I was getting a little bored with them.

FlatoutThese wraps come in plain, wheat, and spinach as far as I know. I bought spinach, and I wrapped up some veggies, tuna salad (made with tuna, a boiled egg and cottage cheese, yes cottage cheese). It looked sorta nasty but great day it was so good.IMG_5886

I’ve since had wraps with egg salad, veggies alone, and turkey breast slices.

Needless to say, I have an extra package of wraps in my freezer. Going to try making a flat bread pizza next.

Let me know if you ever try this product.

Happy wrapping!

Looks Yucky … But Tastes Great 👍🏽

The hardest part of eating healthy for me is keeping the food variety going strong. Once I find a healthy calorie-smart delicious food I tend to stick with it, but after a while even the most fave food can become b.o.r.i.n.g. So, I am always in search of new and different (but not too crazy) foods.

Here are some foods I rarely ate before that are now a part of my regular food list:

  • cottage cheese
  • Spaghetti squash
  • mustard
  • eggs (straight from the farm)
  • riced cauliflower

A couple weeks ago I discovered a new food. Flatout light flat bread! Oh my! It’s perfect!  I eat a lot of red/yellow/orange/green peppers, cubes, sweet onions, and lettuce…basically salad…but after eating so many of them, even I was getting a little bored with them.

FlatoutThese wraps come in plain, wheat, and spinach as far as I know. I bought spinach, and I wrapped up some veggies, tuna salad (made with tuna, a boiled egg and cottage cheese, yes cottage cheese). It looked sorta nasty but great day it was so good.IMG_5886

I’ve since had wraps with egg salad, veggies alone, and turkey breast slices.

Needless to say, I have an extra package of wraps in my freezer. Going to try making a flat bread pizza next.

Let me know if you ever try this product.

Happy wrapping!

Eggggg-cellent!

Ha! That title so corny, but it cracked me up [pun intended] 😂 Seriously, I’m about to discuss eggs… just in case my corny introduction has failed. 😏

I remember back when the poor little egg got a very bad rap for the cholesterol it contains. Everyone treated the egg like it suddenly got “cooties” and I’m sure ‘somebody’ made a whole lot of money ….. but it wasn’t egg farmers.  Thousands of yolks went down the drain and the world of bland egg white omelets was born. *blech*.

I wasn’t a huge egg eater anyway, and my cholesterol levels were toward the low end at the time anyway so I paid little attention to how many eggs I had in my diet.

Fast forward years later, I run across an article from a doctor who was touting eating up to 12 eggs a day for health.😳🤔  Then I started seeing more and more egg promos.  So, why the gradual fading of the Scarlet ‘E’?  I don’t know.

deviled eggs

Anyway, a year ago when I started focusing on my health, I needed a good protein sources that didn’t involve a lot of beef and chicken. Eggs seemed to be the way to go, but I wondered about their benefits or risks.

I found a newsletter on healthline.com (Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs)  that pretty much sums up what a lot of other articles stated. You can read it here.   The following is an excerpt from the newsletter.

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1. Eggs Are Incredibly Nutritious
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. A single large boiled egg contains :
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
Folate: 5% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
Selenium: 22% of the RDA.

Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
This is coming with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats. Eggs also contain various other trace nutrients that are important for health.

2. Eggs Are High in Cholesterol, But They Don’t Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol
It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol. In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg. However… it’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood (4, 5).

3. Eggs Raise HDL (The “Good”) Cholesterol
HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. It is often known as the “good” cholesterol (9). People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems (10, 11, 12, 13).Eggs

4. Eggs Contain Choline – an Important Nutrient That Most People Don’t Get Enough of

Choline is a nutrient that most people don’t even know exists. Yet, it is an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins.

5. Eggs Turn LDL Cholesterol From Small, Dense to Large, Linked to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

LDL cholesterol is generally known as the “bad” cholesterol.  It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (19, 20). But what many people don’t realize is that there are subtypes of LDL that have to do with the size of the particles.

6. Eggs Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Antioxidants That Have Major Benefits For Eye Health

7. In the Case of Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs, They Lower Triglycerides as Well

8. Eggs Are High in Quality Protein, With All The Essential Amino Acids in The Right Ratios

Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. They’re used to make all sorts of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes. Getting enough protein in the diet is very important and studies show that currently recommended amounts may be too low.

Well… eggs are an excellent source of protein, with a single large egg containing 6 grams.

9. Eggs do NOT Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease and May Reduce The Risk of Stroke
For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonized.

It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart. Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.

10. Eggs Are Highly Fulfilling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories, Helping You to Lose Weight

Eggs are incredibly fulfilling. They are a high protein food… but protein is by far the most fulfilling macronutrient (47).

Eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures the ability of foods to induce feelings of fullness and reduce subsequent calorie intake (48).

[Above excerpt from Top 10 Benefits of Eating Eggs]

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My Personal Experience with Eating Eggs.

For most of my adult life, my cholesterol was in the range of 170 – 200, even when I had put on excess weight.  I was good with that. So when I lost 57 lbs over the year, I was excited to see how my cholesterol changed.Yes, I ate a lot more eggs.  Each Sunday I boiled 6 eggs and ate them over the week.  I didn’t think that was so many. I usually have one in the morning for breakfast with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.  It satiated me and kept the hunger away for a while.

Last week I had my cholesterol checked; one year ago it was 201.  This week it was ….. 230!!!!!   …. even after losing weight!   I told the nurse my weight loss journey.  She looked over my numbers and explained that even though my number was high, a doctor would not likely put me on any meds because my HDL (good cholesterol) was 71!!!!  about double what they like to see, and my LDL (bad cholesterol) was low.  Most important she said was that my overall ration was 3.2, which is lower than the <4.7 ratio they like to see. 🙂

So,  even though  it was high, it was high because of the elevation of all the good cholesterol I now have.  Interesting huh?

I’m no doctor so I don’t know how to explain this any better than I have already. I’m NOT advocating that YOU go out and eat a dozen eggs per week. I’m just sharing what happened to me….and passing along some info.

Anyway…. Happy crackin’!

Peace and Love! ❤
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Eating Out … Then Eating Right

The past month of my life included more than usual travel. Some for business and some for pleasure; some in planes and some in cars.

It also included a whole lot of eating out.  I’m not fond of eating out on a regular basis because restaurant food tends to have ‘more’ … more sodium, more fat, more sugar, and just plain more food. I chose carefully but still ate more than I usually do so I am glad to be home.

After a grocery store run this morning, my refrigerator looks normal again. I’m looking forward to eating mostly fresh vegetables, fruit and a bit of protein.  Mainly because after eating out so much I feel … sluggish and … sleepy. It’s amazing how energetic I feel when I eat better. I really need not slip back into bad eating habits too; it’s sooo easy to do. The more junk I eat the more I crave. After a year of good eating, I rarely had cravings…but the last few days I have craved all kinds of stuff…and caved too. 😣  Oh well, the key is to get back on track right away.

So, this is what the meals this week will include:

1. Lettuce – 2 heads of Green Leaf and 3 small bunches of Romaine lettuce 🥗

2. Red, yellow, and orange peppers

3. Cucumbers🥒

4. Onions

5. Watermelon🍉

6. Cherries🍒

7. Nectarines

8. Yellow summer squash

9. Organic carrots (organic) – *more about this later

10. Breakfast will probably be a boiled egg 🥚 and cottage cheese ( sounds nasty but is actually pretty good and a good hit of morning protein).

Lunch and/or dinner will include these foods along with a ton of water and a couple mornings of fasting.

Regarding the carrots, I don’t buy organic veggies unless they are on sale except for carrots (I buy whole carrots in the bag).  I wash everything in vinegar water. CarrotsHowever, I’ve noticed something about some non-organic carrots; they have little to no taste compared to organic carrots. Plus, non-organic carrots get slimy after a couple days when I cut them up. Organic carrots taste so good and carrot-y. 🥕🥕🥕

A couple summers ago I jarred my cut vegetables and it worked out nicely. Last year I was too lazy to do it and I was busy eating too much junk and gaining weight. 😏

I decided to use jars this week.

IMG_5773

…. oh, also having pitted prunes… because I like them. Haha!

Tomorrow is Sunday, a good day to get back on track.

Be Inspired!

☀️

Jan

 

 

The Not-So-Funny Thing About Fat

July 6, 2017 was a year since I started changing how and what I ate.  I didn’t know for sure what would happen physically, but I knew I needed to gain control of myself in a way that could be for the rest of my life. I had no intention of blogging about it, as a matter of fact, I didn’t even tell anyone initially; I just started making small changes after the first three or four days of detoxing. Boy, that was hard.

One year and 57 lbs later (that’s a good rate I think for myself; just over 1 lb per week average) I feel I have some control but it’s still about daily choices . I’m sure the loss will be slower in the following weeks and should stop completely in about 6 to 8 months, simply because I would have to eat less than 1000 calories per day to keep losing.  I don’t plan to do that; the goal is to be healthy, not sick.

I only started to blog about my eating changes after getting numerous emails and texts about what I was doing.  The weight loss was being noticed. I was mainly focused on my health. I didn’t necessarily want to put it all out there on the internet but I wanted to be an encouragement to anyone who needed it. It is hard work people! Much encouragement is needed … from anywhere.  Blogging can put one in a vulnerable place but I’m willing to risk it if there are people out there who will read the blog and can get another boost to keep going. I know when I started it gave me great hope to see others who were eating healthier and on the same path and struggle as I was.

So, a whole year has passed.  I have never watched my health habits for such a long stretch but like I said in an earlier post, my motivation this time was to BE HEALTHY,  the weight loss was a nice benefit. You probably noticed that I haven’t put any photos of myself on the blog yet.  I have several photos but I mostly posted headshots.

IMG_0758

The not so funny thing is, before losing weight, I really didn’t feel fat, or looked all that fat to myself.  I had a million excuses in my pocket, ready to use any of them when confronted by my own self about my size. They worked for the most part. Lying to oneself is as bad, if not worse than, lying to others… just saying.

Anyway, I can’t say I’ve had setbacks over the past year because my new way of thinking is not about ‘falling off the wagon, and ‘getting back on my diet’…it’s about making choices…and we can all do that…everyday.  I just had to make way more good choices than not so good choices in what I consumed. So, if I had a meal that was a not so good choice, then I made sure to follow it up very closely with very good choices for the next few days. Simple enough.

You notice that I said, not so good choices versus bad choices. What exactly is a bad choice??  In my world, there are none. IMG_0763
I’m not a regimented robot, I’m a human being, and that includes moments when I had foods that were not so good for my body (chocolate cake, pizza, chicken wings) but they were good for my mind and spirit at the time. Also, life offers different occasions where you’ll enjoy some tasty foods. A little bit does not derail you, and it keeps from feeling deprived I’ve found.
Side note: If discipline is and issue and you know you won’t quit till the entire pizza or cake is devoured then you might need to come up with a different strategy for yourself before you take the first bite.

That’s all for now. I hope the bearing of my struggles has encouraged and challenged you to keep a healthy lifestyle as your goal.

P.S. This blog is to encourage myself too. 😏😎

Jan

Self-discipline: But Who Wants To Do That??

IMG_0714The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. synonyms: self-control

Self-discipline is hard. Let me just put that out there to start; if it wasn’t, more people would exercise it. It’s just plain easier to not exercise, to eat what your body is yelling for, and to engage in all sort of activities that backfire on your own well-being.

Since dropping some pounds I’ve been told that I have a lot of self-discipline. 🤔 I never really thought about it; I guess I do, but I never used it much when it came to food…or not as much as I should have.

After some thought, I would say everyone has some measure of self-discipline if you are managing your life to some sufficient degree. I mean, you must discipline yourself to get up and go to work, pay your bills, manage your stuff, be responsible for your ‘people’, etc.

So here are the three ways I use self-discipline while trying to be healthier:

Self Discipline Strategy #1:

I am NOT a gym rat. I don’t like the smell of gyms, not just the body sweat mustiness, but the smell of all the equipment … the rubbery and plastic-ky smell. I would rather get outside and exercise if it weren’t a million degrees here most of the year. 🙄 I prefer to work my exercise into my life as much as possible, which isnt easy considering my job requires that I sit on my rump 8-10 hours per day.IMG_0715

Fortunately, I work for a great company and have one of the best managers ever and he allows me to telecommute a bit. With that, I have a big counter that is actually standing desk height so I started standing up all day. After a couple of weeks of this I started having leg and back pain (moderation please)…so now I stand for 4 hours then sit. Still great for building core and lower body strength.

I also bought a low-end treadmill that folds up out of my way when not being used. No, I don’t jump on that thing for 3 hrs per day, but I do manage to do 20-30 minutes 3 or so days per week. Don’t laugh! It’s better than nothing and after more than a year I’m still doing it. That is part of the goal….to keep it up long term.

Last, I do floor exercises: leg lifts, stretches, etc, that I got from a PT. They help a lot too.

Self Discipline Strategy #2:

I’ve discovered over the past months that one of the best ways I can control my food intake is to simply talk to myself. I did realize I was doing this until one day I heard myself out loud saying, “OK girl, that’s enough. Stop eating.” 😂. Guess what? It worked. It was like I obeyed my own positive commands. I kept talking to myself, especially in the evenings when I KNEW I didn’t need to eat anything else for the day.IMG_0713 It works, although I have to say it numerous times on occasion. Apparently, there is power in telling yourself what you will or will not do. I’m sure there is some scientific data behind this somewhere based on psychology or religion or something. I’m not even interested in the research of it, I just realize when I know in my brain that I’ve had enough, I sometimes need to tell my body the news. “Just stop girl!” Maybe that is a basic definition of self discipline.

Self Discipline Strategy #3:

It’s so funny when people see me eating regular food, or so-called unhealthy food they seemed all surprised. 😳 😊. People, that’s the whole point. The reason we (I should say ‘I’) struggle is because the first thing one thinks of when dieting or getting healthy or whatever, is what needs to be eliminated from their diet so suffering can take place until defeat kicks in.IMG_0716

That wasn’t my strategy this time. I still go out with my friends, I still eat what I like, I don’t feel like the last year has been a year of deprivation and torture, and I’ve lost 57 pounds so far. I once heard of a man who explained his secret to a major weight loss. He said, “Well, I only eat once slice of bread instead of the whole loaf.” Yep, that’s pretty much the strategy I’ve adopted … sounds like self discipline to me.

That’s all I’ve got for you this evening people so… go talk to yourselves! I just told myself to go get on the treadmill…for 15 mins 😌