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Archive for March, 2009

Healthy Snacking

Everything you have read in the last few years says you should eat small meals and snacks.  Eat every three hours they say.  I did this and lost 70 pounds in nine months.  It keeps my blood sugar even, makes my metabolism work for me all day long and gives me great energy.  The problem is coming up with healthy snacks.  For me,  snacks need to be between 100-150 calories.  They say (who are they,  you say, well almost everyone you read on the internet or books) you need a little carb, protein and fat with each snack to make them metabolise better in your system.  Which means your snack will burn more calories instead of turning in to fat. 

So I am going to list some of my favorites and then some I have read about from others:

My top ten:

  1. 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt with a cup of frozen berries (the berries defrost and give off all this yummy juice in the plain yogurt
  2. carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, ham with some lite Italian dressing and lots of fresh ground pepper  (I chop it all up and let it marinate  (my kids love this, if you make a lot it will last for several days)
  3. 1/2 apple, slice of turkey or ham
  4. cantaloupe and a couple slices of prosciutto (yummy)
  5. wasa bread (which is a cracker) with light cream cheese and a slice of turkey
  6.  six almonds and an apple (I do not eat this often because I always want more than six almonds)
  7.  light popcorn
  8. 1/2 cup light ice cream (you have to measure it!)
  9. black bean salsa and baked chips (recipe will be on the blog next week)
  10. strawberry Fit n Lit yogurt smoothie with frozen strawberries and 1/2 banana (make it really thick and it is like ice cream)

You may notice I do not have a lot of crackers or breads on here.  The reason,  breads are my weakness, and I do not always have great self control and would just prefer not to temp myself.  When I do eat low fat crackers, rice cakes or chips I count them out.  I try to save my starchy carbs for my meals (whole grain bread, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes). 

My thoughts on 100 calorie snack packs.   I really try to eat whole foods (as close to how they came out of the ground as possible)  I really try to keep the processed food down because of the ingredients and they are costly.  Recently, I have been having a problem wanting something sweet at night so my (never has been on a diet) husband suggested I get the 100 calorie sweet packs.  I gave him my “they are not very healthy” argument and he mentioned neither were the snacks I was wanting to eat.  So I bought chocolate covered pretzels and the little cookie with the chocolate strips.  I hate when he is right about stuff he knows nothing about!!!!!!  They hit the spot at 8:30 p.m. when I want something sweet. I only bring one upstairs so I am not tempted to eat more than one bag.  There is no protein, they are processed but they are 100 calories of lick smacking goodness that keep me out of the cabinets and ice cream.

Other people like: 

  • low fat cottage cheese (it is a no go for me, but it  is high in protein) with fruit
  • dark chocolate, the darker the better.    Mayo Clinic  say 1/2 ounce a day, which is the size of a chocolate kiss, is all you need for blood pressure reduction.   If you only eat 1/2 ounce of chocolate you call me and tell me how you do it! 
  • celery and peanut butter (1 tablespoon)
  • Laughing Cow light cheese and pretzels
  • light cheese and crackers  (I have to measure everything and they put the extra back up before I start eating because I will keep getting a little more–just not worth the risk for me most of the time.)
  • raisins and other dried fruit (be careful, measure, very high in calories)
  • canned fruit or applesauce in single-serving containers

Not all of my snacks are carbs/protein/fat proportioned.  I do the best I can.  Measure your portions when bring crackers home.  Use the little snack bags and to go containers and get several snacks ready at one time so you have no excuse when you run out the door. 

Please give us some of your favorite snacks.

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Friday was a great day.   My little brother was coming to visit from Florida.    I felt upbeat, looking forward to a great weekend.  THEN Saturday morning I went clothes shopping.  I needed some pants.  I have not tried on clothes for quite some time but I have been working out really consistently, eating healthy and feeling pretty good, so I anticipated going down a size.  Oh boy!  (Is this a set up or what?)  I get Nike, Adidas, Reebok and the store brand pants and go to the dressing room.  First brand does not look so hot, but everyone knows that brand runs small.  Second brand looks worse.  This is not good.  The temperature in the little dressing room is rising, my hair is now getting sweaty, my mood is dropping, the phone is ringing and I only have two more pair to try on.  Hmmm, I had already determined that I would not go up a size, I would wait until this size fit, so there was no going back.  I can tell this is going no where good but I plunge on and try everything on.  They all fit pretty much the same–TIGHT!   I put my clothes back on and slink out of the store.

I tearfully climb in my truck and call my husband.  Now you do not know the saint, aka Keith, but after 27 years of these phone calls the man is gooooood.  He knows what to say but more importantly he knows what NOT to say.  I tell him my disappointment and then tell him I am now not sure how I am going to drag myself to the gym and exercise.  All my energy is laying on that dressing room floor.  He tells me he understands, he says he is sorry, he  pumps me up, tells me he loves me, that I am beautiful to him and get moving to the gym.   Now I do appreciate this, but I am more concerned with the fact that I do not feel lovely and that I know how to get extreme results extremely quick but I also know that does not last and it is no fun for anyone.  Trying to walk out what I tell my clients and I tell myself is hard on a day like Saturday.  I want extreme results now!

I went to the gym.  I got my music and started to work out.  It was not the best workout I have ever had but I did it.  I talked to myself and repeated all the things I tell people all day long and know deep down I want to live a balanced life that gives me great results over a period of time that I can live with forever.  In my heart I know that if I walk consistently the path that I have started I will get into those pants.  It will take me a little longer than my impatient self wants BUT I will be at peace with myself and others.  I will enjoy my life.    I have a little pity party but then decide that I know I want this for life and I am going to walk it out one day at a time.    I am going to practice what I preach.

Do you ever meltdown?  How do you cope?  What do you tell yourself?

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I am so excited about this new blog.  I so want to live a healthy life and want to learn  what works for you.  I truly believe being healthy starts in our mind and spirit and seeps out to our physical body.  When my mind is thinking clearly and my spirit is charged up I stand taller, I have more confidence, I eat healthier and I want to move.  When I allow negative thoughts to bombard my mind everything seems hopeless, I want to stuff my feelings and cannot make myself get to the gym.

Being balanced is a focus in my own life and I am encouraging my clients to find out what balanced means to them.  Balanced eating and exercise look different at all ages.    Finding what works for you and sharing it will inspire others.  Each week we will explore different areas that we can be balanced in and live a healthy life.

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