31 Ways to Eat and Slim #31 (LAST ONE..WE MADE IT!!)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

31) Keep it off for good.

Basically this tip is that you have to make whatever changes a lifelong change. Self says to make eating right a lifelong habit, look for regular inspiration.

My skinny - Maintaining is the hardest part of losing weight. The strongest and most determined person can lose focus and slip back to the unhealthy side. Another hard part of making it to the end is the inevitable're giving it your all and the pounds are sliding off and one day they just STOP so it can be a very frustrating time. My advice keep telling yourself that you'll make it through and remind yourself of how far you have come.

Also make realistic goals from the start...don't start with the idea of losing a super high amount. Start with small milestone of 5 lbs in one month and then see what you did and go for more or less the next month and so on. The more you accomplish in smaller sections the more motivation you'll have to keep going. For example, take myself. I want to lose about 20 lbs which isn't too bad, I know I can shed that within a matter of months. However, I need to probably lose 40 pounds but I'm going to work on the first 20 first and concentrate on the next 20 when I get there. So when I get to 10 pounds lost I won't be sitting here thinking yes but I have SOOO much further to go. Nope ... I'll be half way there.

So since this is the last of Self's 31 tips, don't fret, February is all about the new motivated Shia. I will give you a daily update of what I'm doing to lose that 20 pounds (don't worry I'm not focused on losing it all in February...5 pound off at the end of the month is my goal) I know I can lose the weight. I have done it in the past. I just need to utilize this baby step routine. It's not going to happen overnight no matter what I do so why sweat how long...I'm just going to focus on each of 28 days of February being the healthiest Shia possible. Also, I'm going back to my food log (yes the handwritten one....and I am covering it with some of that lovely scrapbook paper!) which I will post and let you see . So you can see what I'm eating and when. Not only will it help you, it will help me stay on track because I will have to report to you. I think the first time I did WW (yes I've done it twice now...which is why I am a pro) was the most rewarding because my mother went with me and I truly felt like I had to do my best because she was there and well...she was paying! Plus, she was truly supportive. My deal is that I've just have always seen myself as fat and therefore I've then deemed myself "ugly". I know that I am not "ugly" I love my face (which looks more and more like my mom you mom). The first time I joined WW was due to a situation with a guy Nicole (my sis) tried to set me up with. He was a "Vin Diesel" looking guy..totally my type ... (duh look at Paul) and I just thought this guy was HOT. Anywho we hung out for about a month and then...he sends me out with his friend who was HIDEOUS (sorry but he was) and this guy tells me that jerko thinks things would work out better between him and I rather than jerko and I. So I get in my car and call him. He gives me the we need to talk but not over the phone (HATE THAT) and so I went to meet him and he're just not attractive. (He might have said more like I'm not attracted to you but I heard YOU ARE NOT ATTRACTIVE). I went straight to my parents' house and laid on Nic's bed and cried and cried and told my mom that I hated myself and I think (ok I had to stop I was tearing up at work) I even said that I wanted to die (I know drama queen) anyway I've always felt like I was too fat to be loved by a man and here this jerk was telling me that I wasn't attractive. Well my mom suggested WW and that weekend I started. I lost 50 pounds and got down to a very slim and fit Shia and I felt great and had more self confidence. So I thought, I then met another jerko (again Vin Diesel type) and he treated me like crap but I held on because I was like wait...I'm not fat...LOVE ME!! After that I slowly gained the weight back because it was like well fat or skinny it's just not going to happen. is the time to get over that! Paul loves me and has even told me that he doesn't care he just wants me to be happy. I feel truly blessed to have met him. I seriously thought I would never be with anyone that could make me feel so loved.

I recently had a freak out about some Christmas pictures my mom send me. I was seriously upset with my body image and I even got upset that my dear friend Taller didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal (that I was freaking out). The next day we had a talk about how I felt and she said to me..."I don't see you that way...I see you as a pretty girl and you're so confident and strong that she didn't realize that you were really having an issue because you are so confident. " So thank you are sooo right! I am strong and confident so I need to get over it. It ISN'T as bad as I make it out to be. So it's time for this new and improved Shia to get over the whole fat equals ugly and just concentrate on being healthy. So it's not a diet, it's just my new healthy lifestyle. So please know that writing a blog and posting my food log knowing that you're all following will be great motivation.

Shia's bit of redemption....okay so jerko #1 (Mr. you are not attractive) is now not so attractive himself. This past Halloween I took my niece Marissa out trick or treating and we went to a little town carnival and I saw him there...let's just say he now needs to read up on some of the tips =)

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #30

Saturday, January 30, 2010

30) ID what's eating you.

Basically this tip is about emotional eating. Self says tension is one of the most oft-cited reasons people overeat. Scarfing down a bunch of cookies doesn't get rid of the problem and now you've just scarfed down a bunch of cookies. Make a list of three things you can do when something pushes your limit and if needed stick the list on the cookie jar.

My skinny - Emotional eating isn't only with tension. Some people overeat when they are sad, we've all seen the chick flicks with the sad chick with the Ben and Jerrys. However, it can just be plain boredom. You're sitting there watching tv and bored and so you go to the fridge, freezer, whatever and EAT. So just like Self's tip find something to busy yourself when you know you aren't hungry and you are reaching for food.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #29

Friday, January 29, 2010

29) R.I.P. MSG!

Basically this tip is to say bye-bye to processed foods. Self says there may be a link between the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) and weight gain. The additive may interfere with your body's ability to regulate appetite. Chinese restaurants aren't the only place you encounter MSG; it is still a common ingredient in canned soups, instant noodles, chips, salad dressings, and smoked almonds. (Here are the disguises of MSG...monosodium glutamate, hydrolysed soy protein and autolysed yeast)

My skinny - MSG also causes bloating. I can't eat the stuff. I feel WAY sick afterward. But the tip is to check the labels. A lot of foods will put a little marker on the front stating NO MSG just make sure to flip around to the nutrition facts to make sure none of the other aliases are listed. Processors like to be tricky. Also, make your own soup, etc. It'll taste better and have WAY less sodium (another bloating cause).

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #28

Thursday, January 28, 2010

28) Toast lightly.

Basically this tip is drink alcohol but choose better drinks. Self says to drink white wine mixed with seltzer, or a flavored vodka with club soda, to curb liquid calories. Skip colorful mixed or frozen drinks, which can rev the meter to 400 calories per cocktail or more.

My skinny - Okay here's my deal with alcohol. I'm not someone who goes out with friends all of the time so I am not put in this situation regularly. However, if I am going to refrain from eating cakes or cookies ... things that I would enjoy eating....why would I drink calories? I just find alcohol a waste. I've never been one to eat and drink at the same time so I don't see it adding to the flavor of the meal. To me it's just a waste of calories that can turnout to be ... well not so forgiving if you over do it and at least with cake there is only the guilt of eating the cake.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #27 - Happy Birthday to Me!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27) Be a smoothie operator.

Basically this tip is to um drink smoothies. Self says that smoothies offer up high doses of fiber, calcium and other disease fighting vitamins AND you can sip them on the run.

My skinny - Sure you can get countless smoothies from particularly everywhere these days mindful of added sugar! That clear stuff they are pumping in there is SUGAR!! So if for whatever reason you don't think the fruit, yogurt etc is sweet enough on it's own ... add a no calorie sweetener of you choice.

The best way to drink smoothies in my opinion is the am. They can be a quite filling breakfast. Just throw some greek yogurt, flash frozen fruit and a splash of no calorie juice in you blender the night it in the frig and whip it up in the morning. Other combos could be...protein shake mix, fruit or soy and fruit, etc. Just whip up what you like and you'll have a delicious and nutritious breakfast in seconds.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #26

26) Mind the menu.

Basically this tip states that no one can eat at home 100% of the time. Self says that dining out can be twice as many calories as making it at home so be prepared when you go. Look online ahead of time for nutrition information and make better choices at the restaurant.

My skinny - Doesn't this sound familiar? Um yeah it's post #11. Again isn't this supposed to be 31 ways not rehashing the same thing? So anyways. See Post 11 and here's another tip. When you do go out to half of the portion because it's the true portion size and take the other to go. Box it up right away if you need to. Also, if you are a bread eater...tell them to take it away...that way you aren't tempted and rack on more calories, fat, etc eating before the meal. Go somewhere with a salad bar and load up. Ruby Tuesdays has a great salad bar. I once got only a chicken breast and ate the salad bar and it was under 10 win!

Happy Birthday to Me...

So today I am 31 and accepting it! (Seriously I am not going to cry) Notice Mom my post is at 8:29 time of birth =) Monday night (2 day countdown) I had a has officially been 10 years since I celebrated turning 21. Well I am now celebrating being a true adult. Being able to drink was once a highlight but now that I NEVER drink ... I now look back and think aww Mellishia you were so young but now you are older and much wiser! At least I think so. HAHAHA

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #25

Monday, January 25, 2010

25) Call it a night.

Basically this tip is watch out for late night eating. Self says your body might not be able to burn the late night nibbles as efficiently as it does those you ingest while the sun is up. Declare last call two hours before bed, if you are really hungry have a 150 calorie snack. If not sip tea, cut the lights and bid farewell to the fridge until morning.

My skinny - If I am still hungry late at night I will have a glass of soy milk. It's filing and low in calories. A WW leader once said to brush your teeth, you are less likely to eat right after brushing. Also, are you just bored? Find something to do instead of watching tv. Call a friend, surf the internet...READ MY BLOG =)

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #24

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24) Spoil yourself.

Basically this tip is don't use food as a reward. Self says rather than indulging in cheesecake for a job well done, seek out a nonfood prize that rewards and inspires you.

My skinny - When I was doing WW I totally did this. WW is all about getting to your 1st milestone of losing 10%. So I had little milestones for on the way. Lose 5% reward myself with this. Lose 10% and get this, etc. Also, for every pound I was losing I put $1 in my savings account. That way I was saving up for my rewards.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #23

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23) Strike a balance.

Basically this tip is that no food is off limits. Self says no food is off limits just think of your daily intake as a level scale - if you put something in, take something else out...heading to an over the top dinner? Have a lowfat, high-fiber meals during the day.

My skinny - This can be a slippery slope. Sure no food is "off limits" but if you keep putting the same junk in it's not going to help in weight loss. Besides once you stop eating something you will stop craving it. It takes time but come on have a little self control. Also use an alternative...want a hamburger? Okay cook one at home ... lean ground beef, lowfat cheese, high fiber bun...tastier than that Mcdonalds hamburger and HEALTHIER by a long shot. It works with cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc. Make or buy a lowfat version. Also, craving Oreos buy a snack pack don't buy an entire bag of oreos because you will eat them all even if it is not all at once. Same goes with ice a pint that way the half gallon isn't calling your name night after night.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #22

Friday, January 22, 2010

22) Spice things up.

Basically this tip is to use spices. Self says that trying to subsist on plain grilled chicken breasts or naked steamed veggies is the fastest way to fall off the weight loss wagon.

My skinny - Like I have said before without chicken breast I don't think I could survive, however Paul feels the opposite and hates chicken breast plain. So I have learned to jazz it up. Seasons go a long way! I usually spinkle on some garlic, rosemary, basil and parsley and cook in a light spray of olive oil. MMMM!

Thanks Mom...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here's me with my new bedspread...yes black and white damaskish print!

Too Cute...

Marissa and Kaelyn - Kaelyn's First Christmas

Christmas Pic!

Frosty, Me, Kaelyn, Paul and Marissa

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #21

21) Let your eyes feast.

Basically this tip is about cooking. Self says that cooking saves you cash and calories (AMEN!), so to inspire you to break out the pots and pans on a night you'd rather order out, buy a beautifully illustrated healthy cookbook (wait I thought we were talking about saving money).

My skinny - Cookbooks are a waste of money. There might be like a couple out of the 1000s of recipes in it that you will actually make. You can find any recipe online with a beautiful picture. Don't waste your money. For inspiration, watch a cooking show on tv. Top Chef on Bravo always gets me in the mood to cook.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #20

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20) Reduce you oil dependence.

Basically this tip is to limit oils even healthy ones. Self says that olive oil is healthy but it still packs a caloric punch 120 calories and 14 g of fat per TABLESPOON! Get the rich flavor without blowing your caloric budget with a stainless steel mister and making your own salad dressing (two parts fruity vinegar like fig or raspberry and one part olive oil).

My skinny - Agh! Haven't we already gone over this? It's like they couldn't think of 31 independent things so they have to keep rehashing the same stuff. Okay well no need to run out and buy a stainless steel mister...Pam makes Olive Oil spray...and I have seen other olive oils in a can. However, if you can find one on the cheap go for it, that way you can utilize your fav oils.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #19 (CAUGHT UP..YAY)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

19) Bento box it.

Basically this tip is about portion control. Self says to get a bento box, a Japanese-style food tray. The size reminds you to stick to sane servings. You can only fit a half of a small sandwich or cut-up turkey and lowfat cheese, some grapes, a salad and a small dessert.

My skinny - You don't need a special bento box just measure out your servings and count up your calories. This also ties into other tips but eating over the serving amount is only due to ... eating too fast, being ravenous when eating, etc. Stick to eating breakfast, a healthy morning snack, lunch, a healthy afternoon snack and dinner (with a possible healthy dessert depending on calories and time of day) and make sure you keep track with your journal and measure the serving sizes.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #18

18) Crack yourself up.

Basically this tip is to incorporate eggs to your morning breakfast. Self says to take your breakfast a healthy step further by scrambling an egg. Research shows that dieters who ate eggs in the morning consumed fewer calories for the following 24 hours and reported feeling less hungry and more satisfied than those who ate a carb heavy breakfast. Pressed for time? Prepare and chill a batch of hard boiled eggs to grab in a flash.

My skinny - Okay I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Hard boiled eggs...YUCK! Okay peeps me making eggs in the morning...not gonna happen. I am happy with my waffle - soy milk routine. I literally have no extra time for eggs. I would never get to work. I mean they might get a little pissy around here if I started coming in at 10 am. an effort to curb calorie consumption on the weekend, I will eat eggs in the morning and test scrambling and reheating...maybe that will work. I'll keep you posted...but hard boiled ... GROSS!

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #17

17) Attack a healthy snack.

Basically this tip is to eat healthy snacks to curb ravenous hunger. Self says to stock up on 150 calorie bites that contain filling protein and fiber, such as lowfat cheese and whole-grain crackers, hummus and sliced veggies or nuts mixed with dried fruit then keep them in plain view in your office or at home so they're the first thing you see when hunger hits.

My skinny - Sounds great! Just make sure you measure out the portions, especially with's easy to eat more than one serving in a few seconds. Also, since you are now eating a lot of filling foods you might not be hungry for a snack. Eat it anyways because it will keep your energy up and you won't get hit suddenly with hunger pains later. If you have to set a reminder on your office computer that it is snack time! Something to look forward to in the afternoon. I mean if only there was snack time and nap time...ahhhhh.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #16

16) Surrender sweets.

Basically this tip is to be mindful of added sugar. Self says that on average women down about 18 teaspoons (1/3 of a cup!!) of added sugar a day (that's even with avoiding soda and the white packets!!). To limit your added sugar quota, scan labels on instant oatmeal, cereal, canned fruit and sauces for corn syrup, molasses, honey or anything that ends in ose (such as dextrose or maltose) - they are all aliases for sugar!

My skinny - Okay well Paul is very mindful of added sugar because he's pretty much diabetic (long story). So anyways we buy almost everything "Sugar-Free" which only means No Sugar Added. You would be surprised on how much stuff adds sugar. I mean even applesauce! Also be careful of the Sugar - Free it can sometimes contain aspartame. However, a lot of products now boast that they have Splenda...which taste better as well. If you are cutting out eating actual sweets like candy, cakes, etc. don't blow it by eating a "good for you cereal" with tons of added sugar. Take a look at the will be shocked.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #15

15) Make it stick.

Basically this tip is congratulating you on making it to the half way mark. Self says to take a moment to reminisce about the ups and downs of your previous trim-down efforts and think of failed attempts as entry points for learning, look where you struggled and make deliberate changes. Examples, if you used to raid the vending machine at 3:00, buy healthy snacks to take to work, if happy hour was your Achilles' heel, invite friends to Spin class instead.

My Skinny - Okay I am all about live and learn. The whole part of losing weight is to find out what is right for you. Try something and see what happens, if it works stick with it, if not make changes, look for new ways, try new things. All in all stay positive! If you do a weird combination of Weight Watchers, South Beach and Calorie Counting and it works...good for you. There isn't just one way to lose weight ... also be creative try to come up with your own ideas. It can be rewarding to know that it was all your idea and it worked.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #14

14) Build a fan club.

Basically this tip is to get support. Self says that whether it is in person or the virtual kind it is key to keeping the weight off. Then they give you the link to their website for their community board.

My skinny - Really is that it. Get support..go to our website and chat with strangers. Good thing you have me right. Okay so yes support is extremely helpful and we aren't talking so much about family, spouse, significant other, etc. because believe me these people care too much to give you the hard truth. This is where I will make a positive stand for Weight Watchers. If you really need a cheering squad or people that know EXACTLY what you are going through ... go to a WW meeting. You really can get a lot from the meetings. Each week the leader has a topic of discussion too so you learn a lot about what to do in situations, etc. Believe me I am all for saving money but if WW is the jump start and motivation to keep you going do it. Besides aren't you saving a ton by not eating all that fast food anyway?

Off track...

Sorry that the daily tips have halted. I've had a lot going on with work. Long story...but I vow to get back on track today.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #13

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13) Fire up the Fiber.

Basically this tip is to eat a more complex and fiber rich bread. Self says for more fat-fighting power choose breads that feature flax. These seeds contain lignan (a phytoestrogen) that may be linked to weight loss.

My Skinny - Didn't we just discuss fiber? Like # 9 with the pasta...well the same goes for any white carb. If you eat a whole wheat high fiber version it will be better for you. But here is where I don't see a difference in taste. Eat regular old wheat bread (ok well not old) and then switch to a high fiber with some flax...any difference in taste? Not at all! Just make sure you look at the back. You don't want to waste calories and some of the "better" breads say MORE FIBER and it really means MORE CALORIES. There is bread out there that is like 100 calories for two slices ... I swear...LOOK. It tastes exactly the same as their 100% whole wheat. So whatever bread you eat...look around at that brand...flip them over and pick...fewest calories and the most fiber. Your sandwich/breakfast toast will keep you fuller longer.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #12

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12) Tune out and turn in.

Basically this tip is to watch less tv and to get more sleep. Self says that for every two hours of tv you watch daily, the risk of obseity rises 23%. They also state that getting less than 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night can increase cravings for high-carb sweets and you are 55% more likely to be obese than people who get 8 hours a night.

My skinny - Okay let me just start off with a big HOLY CRAP! I thought what I was eating while watching tv was doing me in but just the act itself...AHHHH!! Get more sleep? Okay please tell Paul that me going to bed before midnight is not because I am an old lady IT IS MIDNIGHT not 9:30!! Okay so I now vow to watch my programs on DVR with no commercials...less time spent and if there is nothing to watch on DVR and everything is a rerun I vow to do something more productive. I mean there's always blogging (until they find out that makes you obese) As for sleeping...let's see normally I go to bed at 12 and I get up at 8 am so that is 8 hours....but it would be awesome if I didn't have to drag myself out of bed every morning sooo...I will try for 11 for a week and see if there is a difference at 8 am. Well gotta go it's 10 and my bed time is in an hour. Old lady needs her sleep!!

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #11

Monday, January 11, 2010

11) Get a "fast" food fix.

Basically this tip is that you will eventually find yourself without a game plan and will turn to fast food. Self says to manage the fast food need to keep healthy frozen meals on hand. So you can look into your freezer and grab one of these in a pinch instead of going through the drive through.

My Skinny - Okay so this sounds soooo simple. Yes I will just always eat frozen meals when I am hungry and don't feel like cooking. I think this tip is pointless. Sure eat your frozen processed meal with high sodium intake (so you'll bloat up) and then....what is're still hungry...NO. So what are you going to do at this point...keep eating...duh! So then you might even eat more calories than you would have to pick something up. I'm not suggesting that a Big Mac meal is going to be a better choice. I would suggest figuring out something you can eat out and about. If you do a little before hand research you can find something at basically any restaurant to eat. I suggest making a list of options for your local favorite restaurants and keeping it on hand. Check out this website for restaurant nutritional information. Also let's say you do eat that Big Mac Meal out of desperation. Just write it down and move on. Don't let it destroy your goal but just think...I wanted it and I ate it and how do I feel now and remember it the next time. So you'll think well I ate that last time and I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would and I could have eaten this and been just as satisfied. Also, you took charge of your choice. It isn't as bad of a blow to your diet ego as eating a frozen meal and then snacking out of control.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #10

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10) Flip a fat switch.

Basically this tip is to eat healthy fats. Self says that eating fat helps you feel full, which means you munch less overall. Simply choose healthy oils, especially those from nuts, olives or fish.

My Skinny - So since we've talked about increasing the amount of fiber you need to eat to maintain fullness be careful to not cut out all fat or you have (ahem) personal problems. You can use olive oil when you cook however if you are going to cook at a high heat use canola oil instead. At high heats olive oil becomes a trans fat. Use a small amount of olive oil for your salads or maybe a pasta dish. You can also switch your margarine to a better source. We use Smart Balance, there's one with Olive Oil. Not only are you switching to a better oil source your getting Omegas as well. The Smart Balances taste pretty normal so there isn't a big taste difference between them and regular margarine. Pam Spray also now comes with a Olive Oil option. However, I think it's more for flavor rather than actual oil intake.

Almonds are a good afternoon snack. I can't say that I'm going to eat any olives. Sorry this is where I put my foot down. I ate the salmon but I have to definitely pass on the olives.

When I was doing WW they stated that you only needed like 3 tablespoons of oil per day so we aren't talking like you have to drink gallons of it because you don't want to over do the amount of fat you are taking in. (Another good reason to keep your food log in the nutrition facts so you can see how much fat you are eating on a daily basis because fat is important (ahem) for personal reasons)

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #9

Saturday, January 9, 2010

9) Pass the Pasta.

Basically this tip is to switch to whole wheat version of pasta. Self says that whole grains have the same number of calories as refined or white carbs do, but they have more fiber so you will eat less because you will feel fuller faster. Be sure to maintain portion control.

My Skinny - FYI...whole grain pasta doesn't taste the same as regular but yes it is more filling and better for you. The fiber helps break down the fat and sugars in the pasta and sauces but if you are satisfying a craving by eating pasta it might not do the trick because of the difference in taste. When I want the white pasta fix I eat Ronzoni Smart Taste. It's white pasta and it tastes like white pasta but it has more fiber. So you get the same effect as the whole grain pasta and honestly it tastes better. Also try a sauce with less sugar. It will also taste more fresh.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #8

Friday, January 8, 2010

8) Play up protein.

Basically this tip is to make sure you are eating enough protein. Self says that your eating routine should include some form of satiating lean protein, such as poultry, fish, legumes or low fat dairy, to feel fuller longer. Self says that these foods also have body-trimming benefits. Protein helps to burn fat.

My Skinny - Okay well I feel like with steps 1, 2 and 4 that we basically utilizing this step. First we are logging what we eat so you know if you are getting enough protein or not. Second, we are incorporating our skim milk in the morning and third, we're eating salmon for Vitamin D. So we're already making progress. I have said this time after time...I don't think I could survive if the world ran out of chicken. I eat A LOT of chicken because it's low-fat and it's a protein. So my new way of getting chicken in (since it can be kinda boring so Paul says) is chicken tacos (eaten with moderation of cheese and such) and roasted chicken which I am making in the Crock Pot (click to view the crock pot post for the recipe). The roasted chicken is so moist that when you warm it up again it's still moist and delicious. Definitely try it! If you don't have a crock pot try baking it in a oven bag, the initial meal will have the same moist and tender result. However, warming it up might be a little dry later. Also we bought a bag of individually frozen vacuum packed flounder from Sam's so we alternate chicken and fish. Try out different spices and such and you can make several different meals in a week with the same ingredients.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #7

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7) Be an action hero.

Basically this tip is all about exercise. Self says that if your diet is like a new shiny bike, regular exercise helps keep air in the tires. Self says to engage in heart-thumping activity for at least 30 minutes, five days a week to burn calories, strengthen your heart and gain energy.

My Skinny- Well we all know we need exercise so the trick is fitting it into our lifestyle. You don't have to join a gym to exercise. I suggest walking. It's easy and it can be fun. Grab your dog...who needs the exercise too ... and take a fast pace walk around your neighborhood. Too hot or cold? Go to the mall and walk around at a fast stopping for're there for exercise. Self always has floor exercises in their magazine each month as well. Plus you can go to their website and get the same exercise routines. Exercise doesn't need to be daunting or expensive. If you have kids, take them to the playground and run around with them. Got a dog, take it to the dog park and play fetch. Live near the beach, PERFECT walking area! Also, just like food logging, make a workout schedule. If you schedule it you'll be able to do it because you'll have the time marked out for it. Also, don't do it 5 days in a row if you are busy everyday after work, use the weekends and take Mondays off and the maybe Thursday or Friday off.

So since I said, if I don't do the tip I will commit to doing it. I have scheduled these workouts.....

Thursday (today)- 30 mins on treadmill after work
Friday - 30 mins on treadmill after work
Saturday - OFF
Sunday - 30 mins on treadmill in the morning
Monday - OFF
Tuesday - 30 mins on treadmill after work
Wednesday - 30 mins on treadmill after work

We have a gym in our community that is paid for through our HOA. So I have now committed to going there after work. Today, I will go home change and go to the gym. However, the other days, I will be prepared and put clothes in my car and go directly to the gym before going home. That way I don't get caught up in dinner, pets, etc. I'll post my success!

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #6

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

6) Treat yourself right.

Basically this tip is telling you that treats are okay. Self says whether your guilty pleasure is potato chips or ice cream, feel free to polish off a serving. They say it's okay to use 150 calories on a treat.

My skinny - Something doesn't add up here. Okay, we have all seen the 100 calorie prepackaged cookies, crackers, chips, etc. Are you really satisfied after one of those little bags? No. (If you are, you deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for your self control) Okay here is the deal with cookies, cake, candy, chips, etc. If you don't eat it ... you don't crave it. If you are someone who eats little candies around the office on a daily basis, try avoiding it for an entire week (I am not saying the beginning isn't rough) but seriously once you make it past that 7 day period. You will forget about the candy for good. That is also how people can make the South Beach Diet work. Believe me the beginning of SB is a nightmare because you are breaking the carb craving. Once it's gone, you don't even care that you are "restricting" yourself from carbs. I

Also gee thanks Self for telling me it's okay to use 150 calories on junk...what if I'm only eating 1000 calories a day or even 1500...calories are precious .... PRECIOUS! This goes back to tip #1. If you write it down and keep track, maybe you will realize that you have some extra calories out there to use, but going it alone and thinking sure this is 150 calories I can have will lose track and end up overeating or drinking too much for your caloric intake.

My suggestion is to try and stop the bad habit of snacking. You can do it!

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #5

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5) Become a veggie junkie.

Basically this tip is EAT as much veggies as humanly possible. Self states pile your plate high with naturally low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables and fruit which leaves little room for other dishes. Focusing on these filling foods helps you lose weight and still feel satisfied.

My skinny - Honestly, if you are not one to eat a good balance of vegetables this is where Weight Watchers helps. Seriously before I did WW maybe I would occasionally eat green beans or corn. But WW stresses for one of it's rules to get 5 servings of vegetables a day plus you get a long list of ones that are 0 points and come on points are precious. So when I was doing WW, eating the 5 a day sure I lost weight but the weeks when I had like insane numbers like -4.8 or more it was from loading up on vegetables. I would go to this store in Gainesville (Wards) where they had fresh produce and I would just load up on fresh vegetables. They are also a great in between meal snack to keep you from getting to that starvation point. I would love to find something similar around here. I've noticed that on Saturdays there is a Farmers Market so I am going to try to remember on Fridays to get some cash out so I can go check it out. I doubt they take

So not all the hype is just vegetables. Fruit can be very beneficial too. I honestly hate Florida summers but the thing I miss is the berries on sale. Over the summer I ate strawberries, raspberries and blackberries everyday for lunch with a small non-fat yogurt. The best lunch and very filling. The one thing you have to watch with fruit especially canned or applesauce is added sugar. Fresh fruit is always best over canned or even dried (you tend to eat more calories with dry fruit because it's condensed down and less filing i.e. 5 raisins compared to the size of 5 grapes). But some fruit isn't as good for you as others when dieting. Check out this website regarding calories in fruit, etc. Also the catch with fruit is the same as the downfalls of a white potato. Fruit has natural sugars which burn off fast and then leave you hungry for more. That's why vegetables get all the hype ... not a lot of sugar...but that's why fruit tastes so great. Either one got fat from eating a I say all fresh produce is a step in the right direction.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #4

Monday, January 4, 2010

4) Go Fish.

Basically this tip is to get more Vitamin D. Self says according to the University of Minnesota, that fatty swimmers such as wild salmon deliver Vitamin D, and having low levels of the nutrient at the start of a diet may hinder weight loss efforts and Vitamin D helps curb your appetite.

My Skinny - Okay well after that you are jumping for joy and can't wait to dive into that salmon. Go for it. I on the other hand. I HATE salmon. So...I'm a lost cause I guess. Nope. Seriously I am the pickiest eater on this planet and I can manage my diet for weight loss so the key here to to get the Vitamin D from other sources. So a quick google search and .....

Table 3: Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D
FoodIUs per serving*Percent DV**
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon1,360340
Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces794199
Mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D, 3 ounces (not yet commonly available)400100
Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces38897
Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces15439
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 115-12429-31
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies)10025
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV)8020
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon6015
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines4612
Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces4612
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV)4010
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in yolk)256
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce62
*IUs = International Units.

**DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. Food labels, however, are not required to list vitamin D content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database Web site,, lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a list of foods containing vitamin D: A growing number of foods are being analyzed for vitamin D content. Simpler and faster methods to measure vitamin D in foods are needed, as are food standard reference materials with certified values for vitamin D to ensure accurate measurements [31].

HOLY MACKEREL ...Literally! (since it was on the So it's salmon or cod liver oil for the best way of getting it. WOW!

Okay folks here is another, I gotta try it and get back to you. I vow to make salmon one night this week and eat it and report back if I can be a salmon eater too. If I like it anyone can. You know what folks why put off today which can be done tonight. I will make it tonight which happens to be Sunday (look at me all ahead on my blogging...pat pat on the back) and post how it goes!

With the tip Self gives a cooking tip....
Marinate in a mixture of lime juice, garlic and cumin, chill for 20 mins, then grill for 10 mins per inch of thickness, flipping once.

I'm off to be continued.....I mean it's gotta be tastier than that cod liver oil...right? Okay so here is the deal. I start to get ready to go to the store and somehow the hallway ends up getting flooded from a leaky valve in the second after I clean that up I am headed to Publix. Paul calls from work and wants to know if we have dinner plans. So I tell him that I am making Salmon and he is SHOCKED. He's like no don't make it tonight and says he will make if for us on the grill sometime. Well I explain to him that this needs to happen ASAP for this blog. I think he actually thought my 31 days of tips was a good I think when I offer to try new things (since I am a picky eater) he is on board for going out to get it. So we went to Bonefish Grill and I got Salmon and was GOOD. I had the Spinach Bacon Gorgonzola Norwegian Salmon with a lemon butter sauce. I mostly scraped off the added stuff because I wanted it to be a true test to whether or not I could eat some Salmon. So guess who will be eating more.....this girl! Oh btw before our food came Paul know you can just take fish oil in a capsule we've decided to start taking fish oil and Vitamin E supplements.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #3

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3) Check in with your gut.

Basically this tip is to avoid overeating. Self says that most people eat too quickly to recognize their fullness signals (according to author Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D.) Dr. Fernstorm states that it takes 20 mins for signals to register. Self's tip is to tune in today by eating without distraction (no TV or computer), noticing the tightness and grumbling in your stomach before you dig in and slowing your bites so you can tell when you're truly full.

My Skinny - Sounds simple right? We'll all just sit down and slowly chew are food (aren't we supposed to chew it like 100 times start counting) and there will be no more overeating and we will all be a size 0 by the end of the week? Wrong. It's easy for someone to say EAT SLOWER! But realistically it's not always the case. I have heard that there are actually places in THIS country where you do NOT get a lunch break are these people supposed to slowly chew their food at lunch. IMPOSSIBLE! Sometimes you got to just slam it down. The key here shouldn't be how fast you eat it, it should be HOW MUCH you eat. If you have the correct portion size it doesn't matter. Also, sure when you are single and fat the last thing you want to do is sit around your apartment with your 20 cats (over exaggerating here for emphasis) and eat a lonely quiet meal. Face it people eat in front of the TV if they didn't they wouldn't still sell those horrible TV dinners. Just because you ate all of your portion quickly doesn't mean you deserve more. I think here's the real tip. Measure your portions. Come on we all know that a full plate of pasta isn't a portion. Check out this portion guide. So you downed your food now what. Maybe you are STILL hungry because that 20 minutes hasn't happened yet. Well now down some water. You probably weren't drinking much when you were shoveling it in so drink a fast glass of water and TADA! FULL! Same effect with less time spent mulling over a quiet dinner alone with all those cats.

Also make sure when you sit down to eat that you are not completely starving. At that point portion control can easily go out the window. So let's say it was litter box clean out day for all of those 20 cats and you didn't eat a thing. Dinner time and you are starving. Put the correct portion on your plate. Eat it and drink the WATER and see how you feel at that point. If you are still hungry go back to the kitchen get a LITTLE more (like HALF a portion size), eat it and then drink some MORE water. Just like shampooing....sometimes you gotta rinse and repeat.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #2

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2) Milk your morning.

Basically this tip is to drink fat free skim milk with your breakfast. Self says that breakfast just starts your metabolism and milk (protein - rich non-fat dairy) is a lasting meal. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that skim milk drinkers felt fuller and ate 9 percent less at lunch than juice drinkers did.

My skinny - Okay well here is the thing. First, I don't drink juice...hello CALORIE WASTER! (Unless we are talking about Diet V8 Splash that has like 10 calories or something.) Second, I admit that I am a breakfast skipper. Third, I am lactose intolerant so milk isn't really a good wake up to the day for me. So, starting Monday, I will drink a glass of soy milk, equivalent to skim milk, and I will post to this blog how hungry I am at lunch time.

31 Ways to Eat and Slim #1

Friday, January 1, 2010

1) Log on and Lose.

Basically this tip is to keep a food journal. Self says according to American Journal of Preventive Medicine, dieters who write down their meals and their workouts every day lost TWICE as much as those that didn't.

My skinny:

Writing it down does help. You can be quite surprised to see how fast it adds up. You might be thinking...nah I have a light breakfast (or none), light lunch and a normal dinner...WRONG. Just write it down for a DAY and see what the outcome is. Okay so now that you're going to write it down the key is to find out what sort of method is best for you.

For example, Weight Watchers (WW) is all about keeping a food journal and WW works on a points system. The points system is simple yet tricky. Sure WW gives you a whole list on zero point foods and a sliding ruler on how to calculate points using the nutrition facts. But here's the tricky part that damn sliding ruler is never to be found when you need it and guessimating takes over. But no knock for WW it really does work.

The other method is straight up calorie counting. Still simple and tricky. Calorie counting is simple because you have all the information right there on the package in front of you. No translating it into points. There's no kicking yourself when you come home from the grocery store because you bought the 3 points version over the 2 points version of something because WHERE WAS THAT DAMN RULER! But it's tricky because there's a lot more numbers to add up than keeping track of your daily points.

The key is knowing your daily allowance. It's super easy to google and find out what your daily allowance for calories, carbs, fat, protein, etc. should be. However, it's not so easy with WW. With WW you have to at least go to a meeting or sign up online to receive your daily points allowance. (Well if you didn't have me...HAHAHA...I can tell you I have the books.) Seriously though, I'm not knocking WW like I said it really does work. But in these "hard economic times" you should be saving money right? RIGHT!

Okay so once you figure out your method, points vs. calorie counting there's even more methods to keeping track.

If you go the WW way I would suggest splurging on their 3 month food log. Face it it's not as easy to lose as that little weekly tracker they give you. Plus, it's your ticket to instant points info. You can look back at previous entries and eat EXACTLY the same. It's a great way to get back on track too. Had a good week? Well you can easily repeat it. Also, WW offers an online version (if you can't make meeting and often when you go to meetings you can get a package that includes online). The online version has a database for "common" foods so often it is as easy as a click. However, I recommend you program in your foods though so you don't guessimate...what you eat might have more or less points to whatever they calculated. So now that I have you wanting to run out and join WW, I say STOP...KEEP READING!

Doing the same with calorie counting is totally possible. Last year I got an awesome food journal at a bookstore. Each day has spaces provided for calories, carbs, etc. Sure it's more to write down than points but it also gives you more of an idea of what you are eating. Too many carbs? Not enough protein? Etc. Well before you disregard good ol' calorie counting, check out this website. FitDay It is an online food journal which is FREE! Also I am sure there's an ipod app and I know google has a calorie counter on igoogle. Back to FitDay, it works basically the same way as WW. There is a database and you can create your own foods by inputting the nutrition facts. It will also keep track of your weight, goals, etc. It will help you plan out calorie intake to make that goal.

So whatever way works for you pick one and start keeping track and you'll see that it works.

Side Note: BTW, WW is also a supportive group. There's something great about a room full of people with the "same problem". It's comforting to know that others have the same issues. Also, if you have a great team leader she can be very motivating with her own story. Plus when you lose the weight and receive rewards it is something to feel proud of.

Daily Allowance:

Calories - Use this calculator to figure out your calories.
Fat 33 to 42 g/day
Protein 72 g/day
Carbs 225 g/day
Fiber 25 to 35 g/day
Sodium 2300 mg/day

For points check out Weight Watchers website for a meeting near you. (You really need the WW booklets to follow this plan, if you decide to go this route I am here for any questions.)

New Year ... New Deal

So every time I read a magazine I'm more caught up with the idea of ... why am I not doing this? Seriously! I have brilliant thoughts which is what my blog is supposed to be all about. So here is the deal ...For the next 31 days I am going to elaborate on 31 how to's that I read in Self magazine. Since it is the season for weight loss I decided to start with it. I hope you enjoy.

So in this month's Self magazine it shares 31 ways to eat and slim. I will tell you their 31 tips and either try it their way (if it's something I haven't tried) or tell you the real "skinny" on how to do it.
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