Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

Clean Eating January 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dragonfly180 @ 7:48 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Someone asked on my Facebook page Love the Fit Life, “What types of foods should I focus on for losing weight? Is it only about calories?” You *can* eat 1400 calories worth of Milky Way bars and Cheetos each day and possibly lose a lb or two, but your body would be lacking serious nutrients, and your body would most certainly hold onto the trans fat you’re packing in. So yes, the food does matter.

There are umpteen dozen “diets” out there – low carb, the zone, raw food, south beach, paleo, weight watchers, medfast, Sonoma, perricone, 5 factor, atkins, dukan, glycemic index, rice diet, heck there’s even a cookie diet! Those diets may in the short term produce results, but they won’t keep you healthy for the long term. And of course, we know about all the weight loss pills and drinks and what happens when people finally get off them and still don’t know how to eat! What I’ve seen over the past several years that is the ONLY sustainable “diet” (one that is healthy to live with long-term and provides the necessary nutrients to do so!) that consistently produces results is what is called clean eating. Tosca Reno has a few books on the subject, and there is a ton of info out there. Just search clean eating and read some of the info. It basically emphasizes what most of us already know- eat whole, unprocessed foods (whole grains, lean meats, fruits, veggies), 1200-1800 calories per day depending on what your body needs, 4-6 smaller meals, and get regular exercise. The fewer the ingredients on the package, the better! The goal is no more than 3-6 ingredients on the ingredients list. If you can’t pronounce what’s in it, you probably don’t need it. Nix the sugar and saturated and trans fats as much as possible. Here is a great resource of different articles about eating clean: Clean Eating 101

While eating clean can be somewhat restrictive (Waaaah, I don‘t wanna do it! No fun!), it’s just sound nutritional advice. I am all about the sugar, but let’s be honest – I KNOW it’s bad for me. Will I never eat it again? Ha! We are all human and want some processed food occasionally. Even Tosca Reno promotes having a “cheat meal” each week, which I would call dessert! :o) Do I need dessert daily? Absolutely not.

Even if you don’t go wholeheartedly into the eat clean lifestyle, your weight loss efforts will definitely benefit from replacing even *some * of the processed foods you eat with clean eating. Just gotta make Hamburger Helper in all its trans fatty goodness for supper? Ok, have a small portion and add bigger portions of carrots and green beans to your plate. No one said eating healthier had to be the “all or nothing” approach, especially if your goals don’t include being a fitness model in the near future.

What’s that? You don’t like your veggies? Stop being a 5 year old, try them out for a while, and I promise that they will begin to taste better once you get away from all the over-processed, chemically treated junk you’ve been eating. Or change nothing and whine at the mirror every time a shelf of fat hangs over your jeans, your upper arms begin to look more like thighs, and your jowls begin to sag. Sit on the couch feeling sluggish and depressed Cry and lament every picture taken of you and posted and tagged on Facebook. Or better yet, just hide from every camera for the next decade until you have finally had enough of “living it up” on McDonald’s and Nabisco until there’s a whole chunk of your life missing from your kids’ photo albums.

Well, I wish you wouldn’t, but what can I do but put the info out there! I know I‘m being kind of abrasive here, but wake up and take control of things, you awesome person, you! Nobody can change you but you alone. Keep the words of the old Nina Simone song in mind, “It’s a new dawn, it’s new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feelin’ good.”

Advertisements
 

Pina Colada Slush January 10, 2013

Filed under: food — dragonfly180 @ 7:39 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Just had to share this so i could find it again! i have got to try this. I love Pina Coladas, so i know this will be tasty and satisfying once the weather gets warmer. Maybe i’ll make it for Bunko night!

(borrowed from the Everything Holiday Facebook Page)

Piña Colada Slush 

Ingredients

4 cups cubed fresh pineapple (1 medium)
1 (15-oz.) can cream of coconut
2 cups orange juice
7 cups lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage (from 2-liter bottle), chilled

1
In blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine half each of the pineapple, cream of coconut and orange juice; blend until smooth. Pour into 1 1/2-quart nonmetal freezer container. Repeat with remaining pineapple, cream of coconut and orange juice. Cover container; freeze 4 to 6 hours or until icy, stirring twice.

2
To serve, spoon 1/2 cup frozen mixture into each glass. Add 1/2 cup carbonated beverage to each glass; stir gently.

 

My Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse December 3, 2011

Filed under: fitness,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 10:27 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse

This week, I decided to try the Shakeology 3-day Cleanse. It is supposed to remove toxins and gunk built up in your system, which I needed after splurging quite a lot over Thanksgiving. I hadn’t gained weight over the holiday, but I definitely didn’t feel my best. So basically, you drink a shake for breakfast, one for lunch, one for a snack, and eat a salad with grilled chicken (or other white protein) and low-fat dressing for supper. You can also have 1-2 pieces of fruit and green tea for snacks. I changed my plan just a bit. You’re supposed to mix your Shakeology with water for the three days, but I used almond milk instead, because #1, mixing it with water sounds really unappealing to me, and #2, I felt like I needed more calories than the 800 or so this cleanse has you down to. That’s just not healthy, in my opinion, even if it is only for 3 days. The other change I made was that I had decided that if I felt truly hungry, I’d eat extra fruit.

Day 1:
Today went pretty well. I had all three shakes plus two pieces of fruit, a delicious honey crisp apple and a d’anjou pear. I baked my chicken tonight and had a big salad with zesty Italian vinaigrette. I taught a Zumba class around 5 p.m., and I didn’t feel the least bit weak. By the time I went to bed, which was pretty late, I felt hungry enough that my tummy was growling again, so I ate ½ cup of mandarin oranges and went back to bed. I felt really…I don’t even know how to describe it. Not bloated and puffy. I know that probably isn’t clear, but it’s the only way I can describe it.

Day 2:
I have felt hungrier today. I had two shakes, one for breakfast and one for lunch, a navel orange, and a red d‘Anjou pear. I didn’t want the shake after school, so I ate my salad with chicken before going to my second job. I had a low fat Asian sesame dressing that was soooo delicious. When I got home from my night class, my 3rd shake still didn’t appeal to me, so I had a Mariani Sesame Honey Bar, which is an all natural seed, nut, raisin, and honey bar that I found on my last shopping trip to WalMart. I’d had one over Thanksgiving holiday week and thought that it was really bland, but eating it after being on this cleanse and not having much sugar and such, it tasted so delicious and sweet tonight! Yum!

Day 3:
I had two shakes, a honey crisp apple, and a d’anjou pear earlier today. I ate my chicken salad with low fat thousand island dressing this evening. I am sipping on coffee and might have some green tea later. I will probably have my third shake before bed. Sticking with the cleanse was more difficult today. It’s been a bit of a mental struggle. I didn’t have my morning shake right off, so it was about 9 a.m. before I had it, so I was very hungry by the time I drank it, and all I could think about was eating something solid instead. The shake satisfied me, though, but it was a little later than usual that I had my second shake, too. Also, I am one of those people that gets really sick of a food if I eat it for more than two meals in a row, so eating the same things with only little variations over the past three days has not been easy. Now, to be fair to the cleanse, I could have chosen to eat different white-meat protein sources, which would have changed things up a good bit, but I was definitely going for easy by batch cooking three days’ worth of chicken during my busy work week. I also feel a bit weaker today. I think I could probably teach Zumba tonight if I had to, but I’d struggle. Ended up drinking my last shake before bed, and it was very satisfying. I felt full and comfortable and not deprived.

 
Final Impressions:
For my measurements, I lost ½ inch from my waist, and 1 inch from my hips from when I measured on Wednesday. I also lost 2 lbs. So that comes down to 18.41% bodyfat, which is the lowest I’ve been in YEARS! Yes, I did a little dance :o) In fact, in all the years that I have been fitness-conscious and health-knowledgeable, I have never even seen this number!!! I am sure sometime in high school when I was in a size 0 jeans, I was down below this body fat, but I definitely wasn’t doing it the healthy way back then, so it doesn’t count! :oD Also, I didn’t lose muscle (I actually gained over a lb in muscle!), so if losing some of your lean body mass is a concern when doing a cleanse, I can at least say from my experience that Shakeology didn’t let me down there, either. I figured out my body fat by using this calculator:

Linear Software Body Fat Calculator

 
Want to try it? You can get Shakeology through me by going to myshakeology.com/cshows. You will also be a part of my Beachbody team, where I will coach you for free, offering advice, fitness and health info, and whatever level of motivation and support you need from me. The best part about Shakeology as a product is that there is a 30-day empty bag-no questions asked-money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with it. It’s definitely worth a try. If you read back through my blog, I was pretty skeptical about it. In fact, my Beachbody coach had talked to me about it numerous times before I finally tried it. But I can say with all honesty that I have really liked the results I’ve gotten with it. I feel better, and I look better. That is worth the money to me. It isn’t the cheapest meal replacement out there, but it is the healthiest. It’s also the most filling that I’ve tried, and I’ve done things like SlimFast in the past that left me hungry all the time. Shakeology fills me up when I have it for lunch. I pay less than a dollar more per day than I was when I bought frozen low calorie dinners and fruit or yogurt for lunch, and I’m just as satisfied, if not more so. I am definitely more satisfied with what Shakeology has done for my body – made me slimmer by body fat reduction and smaller measurements, given me more energy throughout the day, and helped me stop obsessing about food so much. If you have more questions, just email me (csshows@yahoo.com) or message me on Facebook.

 

Healthy Meals September 28, 2011

Filed under: food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you ever go into the kitchen after a long day at work, want something delicious and nutritious to eat, but instead grab something you know is not good for you more out of frustration that you just don’t know what to cook than anything else?  Or maybe you are in such a hurry in the morning that you don’t think you have anything quick to eat, so you just leave for work hungry? This is when a list comes in handy. If you have something to look at to give you ideas, even if you’re tired or short on time, you’ll probably still find something that you can fix fairly quickly that is nutritious. These are some of my favorite foods. I obviously left off some of the things I cook occasionally that aren’t necessarily that good for you (chicken taco soup, lasagna, deep dish homemade pizza, really really sweet desserts!). Some of these are my own recipes, so just ask for it if you are curious about trying something new. I’ll be happy to share a recipe with ya!  Try to come up with your own list to go to when you’re starving and staring at your kitchen cabinets or fridge shelves.

Breakfasts:
2 eggo waffles with peanut butter
2 cinnamon raisin bread slices and 1 egg
2 eggs and 1 slice toast with sugar free jam
1 cup cereal and 1 cup almond milk
Oatmeal, old-fashioned oats (sometimes with a banana mashed into it or blueberries or PB2)
Hot cinnamon rice cereal
Mini bagel (plain) with sugar free jam and/or peanut butter
Mini bagel (everything) with laughing cow cheese triangle and piece of fruit
Shakeology with almond milk
Grits with stick Colby jack cheese
Cinnamon and cloves french toast with honey

Snacks:
1 tbsp. peanut butter on apple or banana
100 cal pack buttered popcorn
Stick Colby jack cheese
Protein bar
Wheat thins and laughing cow cheese triangle
Fruit: grapes, navel orange, pear, strawberries, banana, apple, kiwi, plum, plantain, watermelon, cantaloupe
Canned fruit and cottage cheese
Nuts/trail mix (mixed nuts, coconut flakes, dried cranberries or raisins, and mini chocolate chips)
Dry cereal (Cheerios, Oatmeal Squares, Chex)
Crunchy granola bars (Dark Chocolate, Pecan, or Peanut Butter)
Tortilla chips and salsa

Lunches:
Shakeology with almond milk and piece of fruit
Grilled chicken salad and piece of fruit
Frozen dinner (220-350 calories) and yogurt
Ham and provolone sandwich and sugar free pudding cup or wheat thin crackers
Ham, pickle and mustard sandwich and cheese stick or sun chips
Black bean veggie burger, salad greens, salsa, green onion, and 100 cal pack guacamole and tortilla chips
Small portions of leftover dinner below

Suppers:
Turkey meatloaf and boiled okra
Spaghetti and green beans or salad
Tuna melt
Tuna salad on lettuce
Soup (sausage and bean or turkey and veggie)
Turkey chili with toast
Grilled cheese (reduced fat provolone usually) and pickles
Smoked cabbage and corn
Crab pasta
Chicken Salad with fruit and pecans on lettuce/wrap/wheat bread
Hot ham and cheese pressed sandwich with pickles
Egg sandwich
Red beans and rice
Pasta with Crockpot chicken spaghetti sauce
Pot Roast and veggies (usually zucchini, carrots, celery, onion – if I use potatoes, I use them sparingly)
Chicken stir fry

***Eat a small salad before supper to lower serving sizes and calories

Desserts:
Chocolate supreme protein shake (after weight training)
Peanut butter and mini marshmallows on wheat thins
Peanut butter on graham crackers
½ cup chocolate frozen yogurt with 1 tbsp. peanut butter
Sugar free jello
Sugar free pudding with sugar free cool whip
Canned fruit and fat free cottage cheese
Fruit salad with honey
Baked pineapple with brown sugar and nuts
Two slices cinnamon raisin bread
Pear halves with small amount of cholesterol-free mayo and shredded cheddar
Slice of bread with 1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter

 

Tips for Labor Day Feasting September 4, 2011

Filed under: family,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Americans will use any excuse to have big get-togethers to eat lots of food and socialize. Labor Day is not exception. Here are some tips for making your Labor Day feast a little healthier:

  • drink a bottle of water before eating. it’ll help you feel full quicker.
  • use a smaller plate. you’ll spoon less potato salad or add fewer potato chips to your plate if there is less room. after all, if you’re still *actually* hungry after the smaller plate of food, it isn’t going anywhere. just get something else to eat if you need to.
  • fill up on veggies and healthier sources of protein, such as grilled chicken or turkey, and choose small portions of red meat or mayo-based sides like potato salad or pasta salad.
  • wait 15 or 20 minutes before getting dessert. most likely, you won’t even want it after you start digesting your food. choose fruit desserts over pies, puddings, and cakes. watermelon or fruit salad will save you lots of calories over that big hunk of key lime pie.
  • choose low- or no-calories beverages like water with lemon, flavored water, unsweetened tea with artificial sweetener, etc. no since in blowing calories on liquid when there’s yummy corn on the cob and ribs to be gobbled up!
  • get lots of activity. play with the kids outside, take the dog for a walk instead of catching a nap after lunch, or challenge the family to a game of badminton or frisbee. the more you move, the less damage that cole slaw or banana pudding is going to do to your waistline.

 

 

low calorie tricks June 28, 2011

Filed under: food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

to keep weight off, i’ve found that i have to make little tweeks to my diet to still eat some of the foods i love. one of the staples of my diet, especially since jamie has been gone, is cereal. i make a meal out of cereal quite often because it’s quick, easy, and i love it! :o) as i talked about in an earlier blog post, i’ve stopped drinking cow milk and now drink almond milk. recently, i tried out the unsweetened version, and it was good to my surprise! it is only 35 calories per cup! big difference! and that it isn’t overly sweet doesn’t even bother me. when i first began using it in my cereal, i’d add a little splenda to it, but i usually don’t even do that now. in fact, i pour up a glass of it and drink it straight. i really have come to like the taste of the unsweetened almond milk, so i’m glad i gave it a try.

another thing i love is pizza. one way i make it is to use tortillas for the crust. i also load up on veggies like spinach, olives (which have healthy fats in them, by the way), mushrooms, slices of tomato, etc., and stay light on the cheese. while i was browsing through walmart’s grocery department the other day, i came across Hormel turkey pepperoni. this stuff has 70% less fat that regular pepperoni. one serving of 17 slices has only 70 calories (only half what regular pepperoni has!) and 4 g fat (1.5 sat), whereas regular pepperoni has about 13 g fat per serving! straight out of the package, it tastes kinda like spicy beef jerkey, so i was skeptical about the taste on pizza, but when cooked with the other ingredients, it really does taste like pepperoni! yum!

those are a few of my low calorie tricks. do you have any you can share with us?

 

Family Reunion 2011 June 11, 2011

Filed under: family,food,my travels — dragonfly180 @ 9:27 pm
Tags: , ,

We hold our family reunion every year at Enid Lake. Several years back, an aunt of mine died that I had never met. After going to Varina’s funeral and spending the day with my dad’s side of the family, I realized that I was missing something by not knowing or spending time with these people. So I started our family reunions back up. The last Stone family reunion had been in 1984, when I was just four years old. I had very vague memories of a few of those reunions, playing with certain cousins and such. Those memories were as vague as old dreams.

This year’s reunion went pretty well. We had a pretty good turnout and lots of food. I made a ton of food. I always make too much! I cooked pot roast and corn casserole and made an Oreo pie and raspberry bars for dessert. And with cooking too much always inevitably comes eating too much. I still feel stuffed hours later. Okay, okay, so I did get into the leftover raspberry bars after I got home. I’m guilty.

Those few family members who usually get on my nerves didn’t irritate me today for some reason. I actually enjoyed talking to them and everyone else. I think it’s because I had such a yucky, bleak, and difficult week that spending time with anyone was a welcome comfort from sitting here alone and depressed. The most touching part of the day came at the end when several of the older folks gave me money to help pay for next year’s reunion. They were so appreciative of me taking the initiative every year and organizing the reunion. I could see the happiness in their eyes from having spent the day with loved ones they hardly ever get to see. It was so touching. It made all the time spent on the phone with the state park people (there had been rumors that with the plunging economy that Cossar State Park was going to shut down) and all the envelope licking and reunion notice folding worth it to see their smiles and get their hugs.

Family is so important. I think younger generations are losing that realization and undervaluing how important family unity is. We’re missing so much from not being around our elders regularly. But that’s a soapbox for another post one day.

I appreciate my family members, and that’s why I make sure we have our family reunions each summer.