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Are You Getting Ready For A New Year's Resolution?

I make New Year's resolutions every year, and quite often fail at keeping them. Luckily for my poor fragile ego they're more for fun than anything.

I have noticed, though, that I'm more likely to succeed at keeping them if I do the following:

1) Write them down and read my list often.

2) Break each one down into smaller steps, and schedule completion for each step.

This year, as always, weight control is one of my resolutions. I've been thinking a lot about how I can devise a strategy that will actually work, as opposed to half-trying the same things over and over again.

I think what I need to do is examine my failed approaches in the past and figure out what went wrong.

For example: resisting impulse snacking!!!

(aw, who wants to give that up? Chocolate is gooood ;-)

C'mon now, focus.

(Pfffft. Fine.)

Step number one: on January first, I will take all the leftover Christmas treats and put them away in a really really hard to get at location (or just give them away).

As horribly un-fun as that may be, I think it will help ;-) Wish me luck!
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My Version Of Low Cal Hot Chocolate

If you're like me and leery of artificial sweeteners, low calorie treat alternatives that don't use them are always welcome.

I started thinking about the sugar in hot chocolate one day, and decided to try it without. After all, many people drink coffee and tea without adding sugar, why not hot chocolate?

It turns out that it's not bad at all! Here's the recipe that I use:

1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
almond and vanilla extract
boiling water

I premix the cocoa powder, vanilla and almond extracts, and milk while the water is boiling - the cocoa is a bit powdery and takes some extra stirring. Once they are blended, I then add the hot water. It's not sweet (obviously), but it definitely takes care of my chocolate cravings!

Like this evening, for instance - I was about to serve myself a bowl of ice cream (several hundred calories) and had this hot chocolate instead (about 60), and I'm totally satisfied.

(Now I just have to go to bed before I start thinking about the ice cream again!! LOL)
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7 Signs Your Diet Is Off Track

1) Your husband wants to get rid of the exercise bike because "nobody uses it".

2) You find yourself rationalizing eating snacks as "prep for your new year's weight loss - hey, gotta have somethin' to lose!!"

3) When you run, things (um) jiggle.

4) You can't find the scale because of the box sitting on it that contains your secret stash.

5) You don't want to give away your maternity clothes because they're sooooo comfy :-)

6) Your curvy girlfriends tell you that you look normal now.

And last but not least....

7) You've gone up two cup sizes (not coffee ;-)

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The Best Weight Loss Program

A friend of mine's Nan, who's 86, lives by the "KISS" principle - i.e. "keep it simple stupid".

We were talking about weight loss help the other day, and her response was one that few can argue with. She said:

"The best way to lose weight is to eat less and move more."

LOL, you're so right, Nan!
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We're All More Sedentary These Days

Here's an article I found about the trend for decreasing activity in kids.

They mention specifically the fact that fewer kids walk to school, and of those who do, the majority walk less than 600 meters (or about 6 blocks - 1 block is about 80-100 meters).

We live three blocks from school, so there is no possible scenario that would make us drive. We would literally have to park the car closer to the house than to the school, and it would be beyond silly...

Still this article has got me thinking about why fewer people are willing to walk further:

1) Bad weather. This is easy to combat, with the right clothes. Even those who can't afford expensive stuff can still layer to keep warm and dry.

2) Safety. I can see this being an issue for older kids who don't want to be seen walking with their parents. Mom or Dad could drive them closer to the school and drop them off without really being seen by peers. I'm not going to judge - I'm not 12 anymore. What seems silly to me could be of paramount importance to a tween. Still this leads to the issue of neighbourhood safety - how do we address that?

3) Time. This, in my opinion (being someone who lives in a pretty safe 'hood that never gets below -10C) is the big culprit. I think kids and parents alike are sleep deprived enough as it is without having to get up :30 - :45 earlier to allow time to walk.

What other reasons could there be to not walk? Any thoughts? Identifying the barriers is the first step to overcoming them.
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Oolong Tea For Weight Loss?

I have read conflicting reports as to which tea metabolizes fat better, green or oolong, but here's an interesting article that sides with oolong.

As stated in the article, all tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) - it's the processing that differentiates it in the end. Supposedly the drying process of the tea leaves which results in oolong creates a greater metabolism stimulating effect.

Green tea: is treated immediately after picking so that it does not oxidize and it retains its natural colour.

Oolong tea: the leaves are sun wilted, bruised, and only partially oxidized.

Black tea: is left to oxidize the most after being picked.

This may be old news to some, but I had no idea all three came from the same plant, so I find this particularly interesting. I've drank (and enjoyed!) lots of black and green teas, so I think on my next trip to the grocery store I'm going to buy some oolong.

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Can A Good Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?

Is it true? Can eating breakfast really help you lose weight?

Somehow, mysteriously, I've lost 2 more pounds.

I say mysteriously because I haven't been actively trying to lose weight. I've been kind of "cruising", waiting until "New Year's Resolution" time (a.k.a. making excuses to not diet today).

If I look back over the past couple of weeks, the one change I've made is that I've been making sure I eat some kind of breakfast every morning. I used to have only my coffee before heading out for the day, but now when I make the kids their breakfast, I fix myself something simple as well, such as one slice of multigrain bread with peanut butter and honey.

Voila - two pounds gone! I think I'll keep eating breakfast :-)
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Cabbage Soup Diet

Here's a link to the Cabbage Soup Diet.

It may seem like another one of those gimicky fad diets (technically I suppose it is), but the reason I'm passing along this info is because a friend of mine and her husband had success with it. They made minor adjustments to the soup (I think they thickened the broth or something - I forget), but otherwise followed the plan as it is described. Sure enough, they lost some weight and were happy with how it all went.

I as yet have not been organized enough to try it, but it looks doable to me - it's short term and all the food is basically healthy. The times that you are restricted to a specific food or food group is not long enough to cause any nutrient deficits.

The only catch would be, like anything else, maintaining the weight loss once you're off the diet.

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Stir Fry

Yum... Had some leftover onions and grated carrots from last night's tacos, so tonight's dinner consisted entirely of veggies stir fried in a bit of butter and soya sauce:

grated carrot
yellow pepper
red pepper
cherry tomatoes
frozen peas

I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was delicious, and pretty low cal :-)


8 Easy Ways To Walk, Walk 'Til You Drop!

OK not quite (phew ;-)

Walking is a wonderful way of staying in shape because it is relatively injury free. Anyone can do it - you don't have to be overly fit when you start. It's green, it's free, and it's easy to incorporate into your routine.

Here are some ideas on how to add a few steps to your day:

1) Park farther away (we've all heard this one before but it bears repeating).

2) Carry smaller loads to and from the car. Make a point of taking only as many bags as you can carry with one hand when unloading groceries, for example.

3) Put away your laundry without using a basket. I like this one: I fold items as they come out of the dryer, and make piles in my laundry room. I then carry one pile at a time from the room to its destination in the house. It may seem like you're making a household chore take longer, but remember that you're multitasking by exercising at the same time.

4) Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

5) Walk to a co-worker and speak to them in person rather than sending an e-mail.

6) Hide the TV remote ;-)

7) Get a pedometer - they can be a real motivational tool.

8) Use a bathroom father away - either in the basement of your home or on another floor in your office building.

Have fun!



Exercised by My Four Year Old

Just when I thought a rainy day was sedentary...

My son is playing with Play-Doh at the moment, and he keeps calling me over to his table:

"Mommy please you help me open this? Mommy come here please! Mommy look, come see what I made!!"

And on and on it goes. I get up from my table and go over to his, then return to mine. Then get up and go over to his, then return to mine. Then get up and go over to his... you get the picture.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: who needs the gym when you have kids :-) :-)


How To Resist The Temptation Of Leftover Halloween Candy

At least with the Krisp Kreme donuts there was a light at the end of the tunnel - there are, after all, only twelve in a box.

The Halloween candy is a different story because there are literally piles and piles and piles and piles of it.

First of all, we bought too much. I bought another box to replace the, uh, eaten stuff, and it turns out that Hubby did the same thing. We live on a quiet dead-end street, and this year it was pretty dark because a lot of our neighbours went elsewhere. Near the end of the night (9:ish) I was giving out bulging handfuls to the lucky teens & tweens who ventured our way.

Then there are my two kids... I took them up and down our street and then their Dad took them down a few more. They were out for about two hours in total, and came back with at least a year's worth of candy.

Anyway, I need to come up with some coping strategies here. Even at as I type this, I can hear the thousands of little tiny voices coming from the kitchen counter: "Pssst!! Over here!! Chocolate!!" "No no, ME!! Caramel!!" "Hey don't forget me!! Salt Water Taffy!!!"

Phew. OK here goes. I can...

1) Put the candy in tubs of water and freeze them (you know, like the credit card thing?)

2) Sell it all on eBay ('cause no one else has ANY candy in their house right now)

3) Feed it to the cats

4) Tell the kids we're planting a candy tree and bury it in the back yard

5) Use it as a decoy to get the raccoons to stop knocking over our garbage cans

6) Burn it in the fireplace to keep warm this winter and save on our gas bill

7) Use it for bribes to control my family (what??? I didn't say that)

8) Give it ALL to my children because it belongs to them anyway (nu-uh. My uterus - my candy!!!)

9) Eat it so that I'll have an extra layer for warmth this winter



Is it bad...

...that I keep ending my posts with "wish me luck" ???



Krispy Kreme Weight Loss Diet

OK there is no such thing. This is just my dream.


My Dad is in town, and Hubby bought a box of "A Diet's Achilles Heel" (aka Krispy Kreme donuts). So far I've had only one and a half donuts, which for me is AMAZING restraint.

Wish me luck...


More Resisting Temptation

Ha!! Bought a new box of Halloween candy to replace the one that Hubby opened and, uh, (cough cough) ate.

This time, if I hide it so he won't open it, I won't scarf it all down...

Wish me luck!!!


Resisting Temptation


OK, since DH opened the box of Halloween candy, most of it has been eaten by yours truly. I keep meaning to hide it somewhere, but I always grab a handful first, lol.

At least it's still high up on the shelf where the kids can see it, which makes it harder for me to sneak some. Maybe I should keep the box in Alyssa's room - she's the one with the will power...

Slim Down With Vitamin C

Interesting tip: the You Docs (Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen) say that Vitamin C can help you lose weight. Apparently this is because Vitamin C is vital for the production of carnitine, which turns fat into fuel.

Good to know...


How Many Calories Are In Pumpkin Pie?

...and what exactly was the damage from my holiday indulging?

I found this web page, which quotes a big whopping 56 calories. Not bad until you look at the serving size, which is 1oz.

(oops ;-)


5 Things I Am Thankful For :-)

Let's face it, I'm really thankful for chocolate and sushi, but let's see if I can make it work for this blog:


1) I'm thankful that I enjoy walking, even in the rain

2) I'm thankful that my kids are naturally active so I have to spend time chasing them ;-)

3) I'm thankful I have a dog to walk every night

4) I'm thankful to be a stay at home Mom, which gives me time to prepare healthy meals and to grow a garden

5) Oh yeah... I'm thankful for my Magic Bullet!!!! (lol)

(Now can I have some chocolate??)


Nothing To Eat Past 8:00 PM

This one is really hard for me.

Sometimes I can do it - if I get caught up in one of my projects and forget to snack, but most of the time it's a struggle. I think because the "kids in bed time" is strongly associated with treats for me.

Plus there's that darn TV thing, with all those shows that call to you: "Come watch me!!! You've worked hard all day!!! Pour yourself a nice big bowl of ice cream and get comfy on the couch!!!!"


A friend of mine lost about 30 lbs, and all she did was stop eating past 8:00 pm. At the time she was living with a man who had a bad snack-in-front-of-the-tube habit. She'd sit and snack with him... once she was able to say "no thanks" on a consistent basis, and disconnect herself from that routine, the weight melted off her.

Important to note is that was the only change that she made. There was no increase in exercise, no modification to her daytime diet. She simply identified her problem area and addressed it, rather than turning her whole life upside down.

For myself, if I can string together 3-5 days in a row of no late evening snacking, I drop 2 or 3 pounds. It's the "days in a row" that I have the problem with, lol. I keep trying, though, because it`s only one hurdle to overcome, rather than many.


Trick Yourself Into A Smaller Serving...

...with a smaller plate. I kept hearing about this one and finally tried it myself, and it worked.

I recently watched a televised weight loss series with Paul McKenna, and one of the topics he covered was how food appearance affects hunger. He conducted an experiment where he told people to eat until they felt full. He repeated the exercise with subjects who were blindfolded, and found that these folks felt full a lot sooner, and ate a lot less, when they couldn't see the food.

The "empty the plate" mentality is a big culprit for overeating. If you use a smaller plate with less food on it, and the serving dishes are in the kitchen instead of at the table in front of you, chances are you may skip a second helping and eat less than if you had put more food on a larger plate.


Pondering Pork

I just don't get it. Pork, I mean. I really really don't understand why people buy it, eat it and then cook it. Blech.

The only pork I've ever liked was a roast I tried a long time ago... slow cooked with an entire jar of sauerkraut dumped on it. Yum. Hubby won't touch that with a ten foot fork. In fact, he ran screaming from the house, tearing madly at his hair, the last time I suggested it.


No, my spouse likes Shake 'n Bake on his pork chops. I'm not kidding. Trust me, I wish I was.

So after much surfing (and head shaking), I came up with something simple, involving olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, that I think he'll eat and I might be able to choke back.

I let you know how it goes...


Out Of Ice Cream

Hopefully hubby doesn't buy anymore next time he shops, 'cause this could be key for my weight loss goal ;-)

(What? Oh come on, who has will power, anyway?) Sheesh.


One Change At A Time

I've heard it takes two weeks to make or break a habit. This might explain why weight loss that takes longer is more likely to stick.

If your diet plan consists of small changes, one at a time, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed. If you can maintain each change for at least two weeks before introducing a new one, you're more likely to form new beneficial habits, rather than constantly struggling and giving up.

My example: putting sugar in my coffee.

One day it occurred to me the amount of refined sugar I was drinking in coffee, so I decided to look for an alternative. I went out of my way to research coffee brewing techniques and flavouring ideas, such as cinnamon, vanilla, and so on.

I was so caught up in experimenting with flavours that the "two weeks" flew by, and sure enough, now I drink sugarless coffee all the time. Adding sugar has become weird to me.

Now if I had tried removing sugar from my daily java while making a bunch of other changes at once, it might not have been as easy. One change at a time appears to be the key to my success.


Ha! Lost Two Pounds :-)

I've changed my focus.

Instead of looking at the total amount I need/want to lose (about 15 lbs), I've broken it down into small categories. It's soooooo much easier when it's a small amount.

So at this point, I've achieved 2 pounds out of my 5 pound goal. Wahooo!!! Once I lose the next three, then I'll set a new goal...


Frankly My Dear...

Grooaaaan.... Aw, what the (bleep) kind of a post title was that (sorry) lol

I'm obsessing over Frank's RedHot sauce at the moment. I absolutely love the stuff (yum!!!!). Hubby wanted me to make him some chili for lunches (to which I added home grown zucchini puree - SHHH, I think he's getting suspicious), so of course out came the Franks. Seriously, I could drink the stuff (and it's only 1 calorie per 5 ml!!! Is it sad that I know that?). Anyway.

Ahhhh... Frank's. Literally, a measurable percentage of my waking hours is spent looking for things I can eat with it (hmm!! Stoned Wheat Thin??).

Another yummy treat, if you like hot stuff, is peppers and cheese: I take Bick's Pickled Pepper Rings (we buy the large 2L glass jar, because unlike most who use them sparingly, I eat them alone as food) and mix them with that Panago cheddar dip (which I also purchase by the jar - I'm sure you're seeing a trend here). Honestly, though - SO good....

Never mind that "last ten pounds" bit - I should have called this my "foods that I am obsessively fanatical about" blog...


Taking A Cue From My Kids

(I'm still here!!)

My kids can't sit still. I know most kids are like that, but my daughter, in particular, is absolutely driven to movement. She wiggles and jiggles and squirms, and is fanatical about climbing. The monkey bars at school are her second home.

My son runs. As soon as we open the door to take his sister to school, he bolts to the sidewalk. I have to constantly call him back. He's getting very good at stopping once he's about thirty feet ahead and turning around to check on us.

I was doing laundry the other day and he wanted to help. Not wanting to overload his little arms, I gave him one towel and instructed him to take it upstairs and put it in the linen closet. Thud thud thud up the stairs he ran (giggling madly), and then back down again, arms out for more. OK! Here's a pair of socks - for your sock drawer. Thud thud thud...

Yup, they're lean, as are 98% of the kids in my daughter's school. The buzzer goes, and they all come out, loaded down by backpacks almost as big as they are. They dump these off at their adults' feet, then rush off to the playground, for some after school, calorie burning, fun. The not-so-lean adults stand and watch.



Green Light For The Stew

Ha! They ALL ate it (the green stew). Ate it, liked it, and were none the wiser....


Green Stew

Or should I say FOAMY green stew. Thank goodness the olive oil that I put in it caused all the green stuff to foam at the surface so that I could scoop some out, otherwise my hubby would never eat it.

Seriously, it was GREEN. That's what happens, I suppose, when you blend fresh leaves of sage, savory, rosemary, basil and thyme, along with about a cup of green onions (all from the garden). I'm sure the pureed broccoli didn't help either... lol.

Hey, it's his fault!!!! Without me and my trickery, he wouldn't have lived past 40 (he's 43 now). I'm sure some of the nutrients were lost when I scooped out the green foam, but he'll get more than he would have otherwise.

As for "non-green", there's cauliflower, zucchini and carrots in there as well. However, all he will see is big chunks of meat and potatoes in brown gravy...


Me, Today...

I know how to lose these ten pounds; I know exactly what will work. It's worked for me in the past and it will work again as soon as I am ready to get down to business.

It's simple: keep a food diary, log everything that goes into my mouth, and stick to 1,500 calories per day.

(Like I told my Mom, losing weight is not hard, it's just not enjoyable ;-)

Meanwhile, my current "at least I'm doing something until I'm ready to get serious" strategy is this: I'm not eating anything past 7:00 pm.

Hey!! It's 5:31 at the moment... gotta go ;-)


Still Counting...

OK, so here I am a few hours later, and my pedometer reads 10,795 clicks. Yowza. Uh-huh. I haven't left the house either, other than to walk the dog a few blocks. Seriously, 6 blocks. That's it.

Granted, I am a stay at home Mom rather than having a desk job, so I'm not exactly sedentary. I'm moving all day long.

Still, are 10,000 steps really that many? Maybe I should aim for 15,000. Hmmm....

Pedometer? Or Moveometer?

I read an article in the paper a few days ago about keeping fit, and using a pedometer to aim for 10,000 steps per day. It occurred to me that my mother in law had given me one a couple of years back (she'd gotten it free somewhere and wasn't using it), and suddenly I was motivated to venture downstairs to my office and dig through piles of stuff until I found it (which in itself promised to be a workout).

Unfortunately for my digging exercise plan, I found it almost right away. For some reason I had carefully deposited it on the top of my desk in a corner so that it could be easily found (and then left it there for about two years).

Interesting thing about pedometers - for those of you who've never tried one (today is my first time): it doesn't necessarily take a step to register a count. Here I was wondering if I'd have to stomp my way through the day to get my tally, but as it turns out, any kind of movement of the hips will do. Leaning, bending, moving in your chair... all will be counted. It's kind of like "dog years" vs calendar years: you have your pedometer count vs your actual steps.

What the heck - movement is movement. And you know what is interesting? Here I sit at 3:22 pm, after having worn this thing for several hours, and my count is only at 4,531. So I guess 10,000 "movements" is a worthy fitness objective after all...


Dang Vacation

OK, "dang" is not exactly the word I want to use, but this is a "G" rated blog. (Besides, the vacation really was lots of fun).

Stepping on the scale upon my return home only to discover that I've gained four pounds wasn't so much fun, however.

My Mom commented that losing weight is not easy. I replied with: "Yes it is!! It's just not enjoyable..."

Oh well, what's done is done. All I can do now is start fresh!! Yippee!!


I'll Be Baaaaack...

....after August 18th. We're away on a family vacation until then, so I'm posting this same message on all of my blogs.

(I thought I'd be organized and write some posts and post date them for while I'm gone, but that never happened. Life got in the way, I guess ;-)

See you soon!


Today's Smoothie

Ahhhh... this combination was surprisingly refreshing - I'm definitely doing this one again:

lemon (without the rind)
vanilla yogurt



3 Low Cal Sweet Substitutions

I have more of a sweet tooth than a salty one... ice cream doesn't last long in our house! If I'm able to be strong and not indulge, it's usually because I've had one of the following instead:

1) Mini-freezies - they're only 10 calories each, and are mostly water.

2) Jolly Rancher candy - or ANY candy that's rock hard. Not sure how many calories each one has - anywhere between 10 and 40 - but because they're so hard you have to suck on them so they last. By the time you've had only one, the sugar craving may have passed.

3) Gum or sugar free mints - gum is particularly good because the urge to chew is also satisfied, along with the craving for flavour.


Oops, I Forgot The Best One!!!!

Omg, this one's my FAVOURITE and I can't believe I left it off the last post.

Veggie stirfry.... only without (drum roll)... wait for it...

rice or noodles!!!!

That's right, JUST VEGGIES. You start with chopped onion and a big scoop of butter (g'head... it's okay 'cause you're not using any other fat or carbs) and fry the onions. At that point you add anything else that's hard, such as carrots (cut into small pieces). Meanwhile you chop everything else up so it's ready. Add seasoning (pepper is my fave) and then when the onions and carrots are the way you want them, dump in the rest and stir for about one minute, just to warm them up and coat them with the seasoned butter.


(Any veggies will work. At the moment I'm eating onions, broccoli, carrots, tomato, cucumber, and red pepper - delicious :-)

3 Savory Low Cal Substitutions

I'm switching my focus with this post from nutritional content (i.e. smoothies) to sheer caloric value.

Indulging your salty tooth doesn't have to be high calorie. Here are some low cal options I've enjoyed:

1) Rice cakes and salsa. The rice cakes will get soggy faster than the chips would, but it's still pretty good. OR... if you don't mind being totally unconventional, you can skip the rice cakes and eat the salsa with a spoon (hey, if people can eat high calorie peanut butter with a spoon, why not low cal, mild flavoured salsa??) YUM.

2) Pretzels. They're not as low cal as the salsa, but they're much better than potato chips.

3) Canned soup. I wouldn't eat this more than 2-3 times per week because of the sodium content, but it definitely can satisfy that savoury craving with a lot fewer calories than a burger and fries...


Ah, But Cucumber DOES Work...

Cucumber works well in fruit smoothies, I've discovered. The flavour is light and clear, so it doesn't clash with the sweet stuff. So far I've mixed it in with a few fruit combos, the most recent being:

ground flax



1 Veggie That Doesn't Work

Pea pods... they're too stringy for smoothies (Ha! So my Magic Bullet is not infallible after all ;-)

Good to know!


2 Veggies That Work With Fruit... smoothies, that is. Today I added avocado and cucumber to my fruit smoothie and it was yummy (actually, is avocado a fruit? dunno).

apple peel

Blend together and enjoy :-)

I'm getting bored with the same fruit combos day after day, and I'd like to broaden my nutrient intake as well, so I'm experimenting with some veggies. I don't think I want to go as far as making a "v8" style veggie drink, so instead I'm adding the odd veggie into a mostly fruit base. I'll keep you posted :-)


1 Reason I Couldn't Be On "The Biggest Loser"

... those contestants lose as much in ONE week as it took me in SIX (before I regained 75% of it and started this blog, lol).

Sheesh. If all it took to lose ten pounds was one week, I wouldn't have time to blog ;-)

I watched an episode last night (new? repeat? dunno) and a contestant had lost 17 pounds at the weigh in. When Caroline Rhea said "this week" in reference to his weight loss, I nearly fell off my chair. Mind you, these contestants are a lot bigger than I am, but still!! Holy cow - 17 pounds in one week. That's nuts. (If only it was that quick ;-)


3 Hurdles To My Weight Loss

1) Lack of motivation.

I haven't gained any more weight, and I really don't have that much to lose. This is probably my problem. If I was overweight enough to suffer health risks, then I might have more motivation. (On the other hand, someone with more than ten pounds to lose might feel too overwhelmed to even try.)

2) All or nothing mentality

This is kind of an OCD-like quality of mine. If I have one, harmless 20 calorie candy, I flip into "oh who cares, I've blown it now - I'll start tomorrow" mentality. Gets me every time (or should I say, every day ;-)

3) I love food.

Dang it. Not sure what to do about that one...


Oops... Fell Off The Scale

So today I kind of, um... "treated myself" to a Peanut Buster Parfait AND a Buster Bar, this after having a large serving of lasagne for dinner (why do I do this to myself?). Oh well. Not much I can do now (except sit on the exercise bike until 3:00 am ;-)


The upside was that I came up with another good smoothie combo:

1 cup water
1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup cherries
1/2 cup cranberries



Best Breakfast

I still have my coffee every morning ('cause ya know, it's good for me ;-) but now I also average about two to four pieces of fruit, thanks to the smoothies.

This morning it was:

1 banana
1 peach
1 kiwi
1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp wheat germ

The likelihood of me eating three pieces of fruit throughout an entire day, if I had to eat bite by bite, was slim to none. Now it's not even 10:00 am and I've had three pieces, as well as some wheat germ and milk. Not too shabby for me.

I think this should be my "get healthy" blog, instead of the "ten pounds" thing.... lol


Today It Was...

...frozen mango, fresh kiwi, wheat germ, water, and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream: YUM!!!!

That was my second smoothie today (I've been having two or three each day, but I've stopped logging them all here).

My weight hasn't changed at all, but I've had more energy that before. Hmmm... maybe enough energy to exercise??



My Venture Into Frozen Fruit

Why haven't I tried frozen fruit sooner? Yum yum yum...

Frozen mango chunks
1 fresh peach
1 cup milk

Now that's one smoooooth smoothie.

I went to the grocery store today and picked up some bags of frozen fruit, for those occasions when I've run out of fresh stuff. At the moment I have so many smoothie ingredients that I can't decide what to make!! lol


Peanut Butter Perfection ;-)

This was the best smoothie yet:

1/2 cup milk
1 banana
1 tbsp wheat germ
1 tbsp peanut butter
splash of water for lighter consistency

The downside is that it's somewhere around 250-300 calories, but the upside is that in addition to being yummy and nutritious, it's quite filling. The peanut butter really makes a difference in that respect...


Today It Was...

...milk and a plum. Not a good smoothie combo. The plum was too tart, so it wasn't really palatable. It would have been better with lots of sugar, but that would have defeated the purpose ;-) On the upside, it was only about 75 calories...


Wheat Germ Works

I had my doubts about wheat germ as a smoothie ingredient because I thought the texture would be to grainy, but it was delicious:

1/2 milk
1 banana
wheat germ

Estimated calories: 160
(1% milk, medium sized banana)

Blend together and enjoy!!

The cinnamon worked well to tone down the woody flavour of the wheat germ a bit, and it was a nice combination. I actually added the cinnamon for its blood sugar regulating benefits, so the compatible taste was a bonus...


I Liked This One Better:

Yesterday's smoothie was yummy, but today's was better:

1/2 cup 1% milk (55 cal)
1 med. banana (70 cal)
chunks of watermelon (not sure how many calories, but pretty low I think).

The combination of the watermelon and banana was delicious, and it blended better than the avocado did (I'm assuming because the watermelon is higher in water content). Yum :-)


Mmmm.... Smoothies!!!

Now that we have another Magic Bullet, I'm going to try a smoothie a day, as a quick way to inject some nutrients into my diet.

My issue is that if it takes too long, I won't do it. I love the Magic Bullet because it's so simple to clean - the fact that you can blend your drink right in the cup you'll drink it out of means that when you're done, all you have to clean the the blade and the cup. Awesome.

Today's smoothie:

1 banana
1 medium avocado
1 cup of milk

I realize this is not exactly low cal., but it's pretty nutritious, and was very satisfying. Hopefully it will keep the munchies at bay!


One Bite At A Time

Eating radish leaves in olive oil and drinking rosemary tea... actually craving a venti Starbucks matcha latte. What the heck, baby steps, right?



Yeah I'm still here. Still at the same weight. I suppose it could be worse, as I'm not gaining.

Summer is coming, so that will mean lots of time outdoors :-) I can't wait!



Alrighty, so I said to my husband "I need sugar-free snacks - can you buy me nuts or something?" (Oh yes, I think I mentioned this in my last post). I am now completely addicted to Kirkland's Trail Mix. It does have some sugar in it as it contains M&Ms and raisins, but it is mostly nuts.

Now I'm thinking that I'M the one who's nuts, because I've been consuming at least 1,000 calories per day of this stuff.

Enough said...



I'm on an anti-sugar campaign. I've always been a sweet junkie, and I'm now trying to change that. I'm paying closer attention to the hidden sources of sugar and trying to avoid them as much as I can.

This is not as easy as it sounds... at my request for sugar free snacks, my husband brought home trail mix, which although is mostly nuts, contained M&Ms and raisins. Even the bag of plain Almonds he bought listed sugar in the nutritional summary (2g per 50g of almonds).

An easy way to visualize the sugar content in food is to consider that 1 tsp of sugar contains 4g. That means that the small (591 ml) bottle of Gatorade my husband was drinking contains 9 tsp of sugar!!! Yikes.


Eating Too Quickly

Here's a good article I'm reading:

I LOVE lists, and this writer spells out 50 weight loss tips that helped him. Tip #35 makes me chuckle: "remember that the fork is not a shovel". When I read that I laughed out loud (as in, oops - he's writing about me!!!)

I eat much too quickly. I have this strange mindset that I need to finish quickly before the food gets taken away, like I'm a puppy in a litter of ten or something (in reality I was an only child until I was almost eight). I'm very task oriented, like eating is an objective that I need to quickly accomplish. I power my way through my serving, then feel like I've missed out because I ate it too quickly to enjoy it, so I serve myself more.

I've tried eating slowly, but then I feel this almost competitive urge to eat more of what's available than everyone else. I'm not sure why, but now that I'm aware of that point, I can try and figure out something to counteract it...



Alrighty then. So much for that theory. Mind you, I guess you're not supposed to put chocolate syrup and chocolate chips in the yogurt... !!


Yogurt and Weight Loss

This is interesting... the theory that probiotics can help you lose weight. Supposedly the bacteria in your intestines can affect how many calories you actually take in, so if you eat yogurt to add the right kind of bacteria, you'll be more successful in your weight loss efforts. (I knew I liked yogurt for a reason!)

What's even more interesting is that according to this article, yogurt seems to target abdominal fat (although in this case they cite the calcium as being the factor as opposed to the probiotics).

Supposedly eating yogurt three times a day is more beneficial than once, and the type of yogurt matters - as in, you want to read the label and consider the amount of sugar that is present. Greek style yogurt is recommended because it has more protein and fewer additives.

Sounds good to me. I like yogurt, and adding more of something healthy to my diet can't hurt. Too bad all of this wasn't true about ice cream as well ;-)


Lost Vegas!!

I lost three pounds in Vegas. YAY!!

(I wish my casino losses were that small!)

I attribute the weight loss to the fact that when you're in a hotel on the strip, the only thing that's affordable is the free booze while you gamble.

Not that I didn't eat (omg, me?? Not eat?? Not flippin' likely!), but the food wasn't nearly the focus there as it is at home. Here I come home to the house and start grazing. In Vegas I'd come home to a hotel room where room service cost a fortune, so I'd wait until the next outing to grab a bite.

Hey!! Does this mean I should move into a hotel permanently? I don't know if my husband would agree. Maybe what I need to do is travel more, to firmly establish the connection between hotel stays and weight loss ;-)


Vacation Time

We leave for vacation this Sunday... yippee - relaxation and indulgence, and... calories!!! The upside is that we're only gone for four days, so I'll be back soon to continue my, uh,
"undieting" ;-) Who knows, maybe this vacation will help me recharge and refocus...


Who's Counting?

I started calorie counting again, and did pretty well on Monday!! My total count for that day was 1,560. That's really really low for me.

Tuesday was not so low, but still slightly below my maintenance level (2,500) at 2,250. Tonight... hmmm... so far I'm at about 2,800. I blame my hubby for the barbecue steaks and fries ;-)

Mind you, I walked a lot today. I took my son to Strong Start in the morning, and then both kids swimming in the afternoon, all on foot. At the moment I'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate more exercise into my routine. Walking is easy, because I have to get places. I just need to make other types of fitness into unconscious habits. I'd never dream of going an entire day without brushing my teeth at least twice, why can't the same be said for sit ups?


Sunday Night `When Will I Start My Diet` Musings

There really is no excuse. I haven`t been doing what worked last year. Once I get motivated I can accomplish a lot - I just have to figure out how to motivate myself this time.

Anyway, here`s my Sunday night confession ;-)



The upside is, my dog is looking great!!!


Eight Things I Did To Lose 18 Pounds

This worked for me a year ago. I've gained about nine of it back, which is why I started this blog. I thought I'd look back and review what has worked for me in the past.

1) Counting calories. It may be a pain, but it truly works.

2) Writing down everything I eat (and drink, and chew... did you know that Double Bubble gum is 10 calories per stick??)

3) Measuring stuff. Like, the cream in my coffee (30 calories per tbsp), the cereal in my bowl, etc.

4) Categorizing food. When I simply count calories I end up eating too many calories. However if I require that a certain amount of calories be protein, veggies, fruit, carbs, etc., I end up eating fewer. The reason for this is that protein fills you up longer than carbs, and I don't tend to reach for the protein unless I'm consciously thinking about it (I'm a carbaholic!!).

5) Not eating the leftover food on my kids' plates. Tough habit to break, but it all accumulates....

6) Walking, instead of driving. Walk walk walk (oh yeah, and then walk some more).

7) Eating small amounts frequently, and avoiding large meals.

8) Avoiding "fillers". For example I could still treat myself to bacon and eggs, but have only 2 or 3 strips of bacon, and skip the toast.

Anyway, you get the idea. It's all about food and exercise consciousness - there is no easy shortcut. When you're ready to get serious, it works!


A Blessing in Disguise?

I chipped a molar.

Actually that sounds better than the truth, which is probably that the tooth broke apart because it was more filling than tooth, and probably needs a crown.

It doesn't hurt, but now I'm afraid to eat anything that requires chewing. This is not necessarily helpful to my "diet", as ice cream doesn't require teeth. It should, however, cut back on my snacking a bit.

Tomorrow I'm going to call my dentist and see when I can go in to get it fixed. This may not happen as quickly as I'd like, since we're going to Vegas in about a week and a half, for four days. I'm hoping that nothing else happens to the tooth in the meantime, in case I can't get an appointment until we return. I'm not really too keen on being south of the border with a dental emergency.

If only there was pain. It would serve as a helpful reminder, and deter me from chewing... (Honestly, I'm kidding).

Here's to a few weeks of careful eating, more thorough brushing, and good luck in getting a dentist appointment soon...


Quality Control

In addition to limiting my after hours food consumption (so far so good tonight!) I need to practice some quality control over what I eat. The chocoholic in me is not so happy about that.

I was really happy when they came out with this business about really really dark chocolate being good for you... I bought a bunch of those "97 %" (or whatever) cocoa bars, and praised myself for my dietary accountability (Note - I actually like those - a lot of people I know think they're too bitter and don't have enough sugar). Not me. I used to horrify my Mom by eating (and enjoying!) Baker's unsweetened chocolate squares.

Anyway, back on track here - in the past I've written down everything I've eaten and sorted it all by food type, which was extremely useful in ensuring there wasn't a hole where a certain nutrient group should be. I discovered, as many people have, that if I increased my protein intake, I could stay full longer on fewer calories. Unfortunately chocolate is not a protein, so that strategy didn't stick with me too long.

My fall from grace began last Halloween, and has carried on ever since. In an attempt to rectify this I've converted our mini-fridge, formerly my husband's canned beverage fridge, into a produce fridge. I was tired of the plant food being shoved behind the left-over take out in the big fridge. How am I supposed to eat it if I can't find it? Now every few days I wipe the chocolate off my face and open the mini-fridge, and look in. Ahhhh!!! Now I can see it!!! My compost worms are pretty happy about it all, that's all I can say.


Sunday Night Weigh In

Well, so far no ice cream, although I did have some toffees after the kids were asleep. I think I may just have to go back to calorie counting - that's worked like magic in the past.

Well, it's Sunday night....


OK, well I haven't gained anything, so that's a plus. How long have I had this blog now? It should be called "Keeping Those Last Ten Pounds" !!


New Strategy

Today I've decided to not eat anything after my daughter's bed time (8:00 pm). We'll see if I can stick to it.

I know it'll work, because that's usually when I cave and succumb to my carb cravings. Ice cream at midnight is not uncommon (did that last night, actually!). So far so good tonight, but it's only 11:05 pm.

Wish me luck!


Woof Weight

My dog is on a diet too.

OK let me re-phrase: My dog is on a diet.

Eventually I'll start mine, but meanwhile The Pupperoni is no longer being given carb scraps (we used to toss him all kinds of junk - stale bread, left over garlic toast, old socks) which he'd happily inhale, and then wait longingly for more, giant drool slingers painting the floor as he did so.

Now he still slings drool (unfortunately for our carpet), but the scraps are few and far between. He has a bad hip (he's some kind of shepherd/spitz dog cross so he's prone to it) so we can't really run the poop out of him, so cutting back on the incoming crap is our main option.

Results? He does look leaner, actually. Not by much, but it's better than nothing. I keep getting on the scale myself, hoping his results will show up on me too ;-)


Oops, I'm Not Doing Anything Constructive

I thought I'd write a post before another week went by and it was time for yet another "Sunday Night Weigh In" and I'm considering myself lucky if I haven't gain anything...!!!


I'm one of those "eat for reasons other than hunger" people. For me the trigger is boredom. Yay - got that figured out. Now what?

See you Sunday ;-)


Sunday Night Weigh-In

Oh geez is it that time already?? Can't I have a couple more days?? (sigh). Ok, here it is (the whole truth and nothing but the truth):


Gained it back again. Sheesh. Apparently having such personal details as my poundage publicly blogged is doing little to motivate me.

On the upside, I am basking in the triumph of successfully securing our wireless router, which saved us $100 in tech fees. Everyone my husband spoke to told him to have a tech come in and configure it, and when I told him I was going to try, he was skeptical (in my defense he works with tradesmen, not tech heads). Granted when I'd finished it was so easy that I was skeptical too, so I called the 24 hour support line to double check, and their rep confirmed that it was indeed secure.

Pffft! So there. Apparently there are brains mixed in with my brawn. Spare IQ points with the spare tire. (Hey! Maybe I should gain ten pounds!!)


2 Things I've Done Right Today

Well it's early, but I'm off to a good start (I have to make up for the ice cream yesterday!! oh my).

1) First, I walked past the pantry, stopped and stared at one of those yummy chocolate coated chewy granola bars, and I actually walked away and left it sitting on the shelf (when the box is almost empty, in an effort to make more room on the shelf my husband discards the box and leaves the few remaining bars sitting in plain view). Today I managed to walk away without grabbing one and tearing open the foil wrapper... yay me!

2) I put less cream in my coffee. I've been drinking it without sugar for awhile now (that was a hard switch, and I only do this at home 'cause I buy good beans, or if I'm at a high end coffee shop where I know it'll taste ok). I have a weakness for the high calorie "coffee cream" as opposed to the regular stuff, and today I cut back on the amount I poured into my cup. Let's see if I can keep that one up.

Hey it's something. Now let's see if I can get through the rest of the day with the same success...


Cinnamon and Red Pepper

Here are two items on my "things to try" list...

1) Adding cinnamon to my diet. I've learned recently (specifically from my diabetic Mother-in-law and then from further internet research) that it can be helpful in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

"According to some studies, cinnamon may improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The results of a study from 2003 in Pakistan showed lower levels of fasting glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol after 40 days with levels continuing to drop for 20 days after that."

Interesting!! I wonder what kinds of cinnamon and chocolate combinations I can come up with ;-)

2) Then there's the red pepper theory... I'm hoping my poor stomach can handle it!!

Red pepper (Capsicum), Hot Mustard, and other hot spices
Scientists have found that people who took hot spicy foods (adding a teaspoon of red-pepper sauce and a teaspoon of mustard to meal) raised their metabolic rates by as much as 25 percent. The hot spice also stimulates thirst, so you drink more liquids that also helps in gaining less weight.

That one is definitely worth a try... if I can raise my metabolic rate by 25% then I could easily go back to eating ice cream at midnight. (Whaaaat?? Just think calcium! Bone health!!) If my bones are stronger, then I can exercise more. So there ;-)

One final note (I keep forgetting, so here goes): the images on all my blogs are courtesy of (drum roll!!) :-) :-)


Sunday Night Weigh-In

Omg!!!! I don't believe it:

130 (-1 pound)

I say I don't believe it because I have not really altered my eating at all. I've not been controlling portion sizes or watching the quality of food going into my mouth.

What may have made the difference was that my kids started swimming lessons this week, and since I don't drive, that means more walking.

My husband and many of my friends keep telling me how much easier my life would be if I started driving again, but at the age of 40 I'm starting to really pay attention to the pitfalls of a sedentary life style. I'm afraid to drive because if I do, my fitness level will go downhill pretty darn quick. Sure it's easy enough to say "go to the gym", but how many people actually do? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find the time or the energy. But if my kids need to get to their swimming lessons and it's only ten blocks away, walking them there is something I will do.

Here's to at least one more pound off in the week to come!


Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain

Ok, I could be in trouble... (lol). According to this article, I fall into the category likely to gain 1.98 kg (those who average five to six hours of sleep every night).

Hmmm. Interesting - they don't say anything about a category for fewer than five hours... could those individuals (me) be subject to weight loss?? Hey, I can dream, can't I?


Bread Machine

I have one, and so does my Mom on the island, and my Dad up north. They're wonderful to use and you can experiment with different bread recipes. For my kids I like to add wheat germ and flax, and whatever multi grain cereal I can find.

My husband, on the other hand, is a die hard white bread guy, and this does me in every time!!! Oh my goodness... fresh warm buttery bread!!! Ahhhh... I have an awesome Henkle bread knife that can cut the loaf while still warm without squishing it, and the fragrant steam rising from the fresh slice makes me want to toss the whole diet thing.
Anyway, I bring this up today because we're all out of bread so that means I'll be making some. Yesterday I did a lot (and I mean a lot) of walking, and left food on my plate at dinner, so hopefully today's bread machine adventure won't set me back too much...


Too many french fries...

...with my hamburger tonight!! I couldn't help myself, and the chocolate my kids have left over from Easter certainly doesn't help. I tell myself I'm being a good Mommy by not letting them eat as much of it ;-)

I can feel myself "waiting to start" this latest weight loss effort, which basically means no weight is going to come off until I change things. I know what it takes to lose weight, and it doesn't come off by itself, unfortunately.

Anyway, off I go to walk the dog (hey!! that's exercise :-) Yippee...


What I've Done Right Today

Well, I skipped dessert at dinner! Yay me. (I'm a sugar addict - if there's anything with sugar in it, get out of the way or you'll be injured ;-) I also rode the stationary bike for a bit, but I don't think it counted , really, because I kept getting interrupted by my 3 year old. Brat! He just wanted to be mentioned in this blog. Now I'm sucking on a mint instead of eating something sugary with more calories. Let's see how long this will last...


Sunday Night Weigh-In

Drum roll (and keep in mind that I'm short... and sporting a niiiiice muffin top at the moment ;-)

131 lbs!!!!

First Post

I'm one of those "if I could just lose the last ten pounds" people. The sad thing is, I had done it, this time last year. I lost 18 pounds, to be exact. Finally!! Three years after the birth of my last child, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Now, as my son nears four years old, I've gained back ten of those pounds. Geez, Louise!!!!! I'd love to blame Halloween '07 ('cause really that's when it started), then my girl's 5th birthday in November, then Christmas, then January's "OMG who cares anymore", then Valentine's, then Easter, then (ok STOP, they get the picture).

Then I thought, what if I started a blog about the pounds to motivate me to get busy? What the heck, it can't hurt. Wish me luck!

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