Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Meals: Meat and Veggie Skewers

Tonight we are heating up the grill! I could call what we're making Shish kabobs because one rough translation means: shish= skewer, and kabob=meat, but if you ask a Turk, he or she may think you're serving lamb because the term normally refers to skewers of lamb and we're actually using beef. So for my weird sense of accuracy I'm calling them Meat and Veggie Skewers. No matter what meat you use though, they are yummy :)

What you need:

1 pack of skewers
Green pepper
Yellow pepper
Orange pepper
Green pepper
Medium Onion
package of Mushrooms
Cherry Tomatoes
Stew size chunks of meat
Light French Dressing

Marinate the meat in the light French Dressing.
Soak the wooden skewers in water.
Cut up the veggies into 1 or 2 inch pieces.
I use button mushrooms and leave them whole though as well as the cherry tomatoes.
Anyway, arrange the ingredients on the skewers in whatever way you like.
Heat up the charcoal, and then set your rack on the highest setting to cook the skewers.

If you get too close to the heat, the food will burn on the outside and remain raw in the middle. (YUCK!)
The idea is to cook them for a long time at a low heat that way they turn out perfectly. (DELECTABLE!)
Anyway, this is a lowfat delicious dinner that I highly recommend! :D

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fitness Friday:2

So, I've been working on running a mile and I've gotten to the point where I can jog half a mile without stopping. :) Anyway, in my weekly post I said that I'd describe my resistance work so here it is: If you'd like further detail, just say so in a comment!
(Each exercise is linked to a video showing how it's done.)

2 sets of 8 repetitions of the following with 3 or 5 lb barbells:

-bicep curls (arm at side slightly bent, tuck elbow next to side, slowly bend arm raising weight up and then back down again)

-tricep extensions (kneel on all fours/lean over, tuck elbow into side arm bent 90 degrees and slowly straighten arm out, and bend again)

- over head shoulder press (hands next to head, elbows out, slowly raise hands over head until almost straight and bring them back down)

-lateral arm raises (arms slightly bent at side, raise them out to form a T and then slowly lower them back again)

-squats (feet facing front, bend knees and waist until knees reach 90 degrees, bring arms forward)

-lunges (one leg forward, lean forward until knee reaches 90 degrees, back knee close to floor)

-pelvic/hip raises (lay on back, bend knees, feel flat, raise hips until straight line from shoulder to knee, slowly lower back down again)

Do 1 minute:
standing twists (stand feet shoulder width apart bring barbells in close to chest and twist at waist)

As many as you can:
crunches (minumum 20)

push ups (minumum 10)

Thoughts for Thursday: 2

Body Health Thought:

So, last week I posted a picture of some cookies next to some carrots, and one of my friend wrote: "if I could only get those carrots to look half as tempting as those cookies." This got me really started thinking about what it is I do to help keep from overindulging. I realized that what I tend to do is eat a good amount of something healthy, like carrots, before I eat something like cookies, that way I don't have as much room to shove an entire dozen cookies into my belly and onto my waistline. Next time you feel like a treat, eat something healthy first and you should find it easier to eat less of your guilty pleasure. :)

Brain Health Thought:

Some weeks seem harder than others, and it's at times like those that I find I really need to set aside time to worry. I know it sounds funny, but if I give myself a 10 minute window in which I'm allowed to worry, once that 10 minute timer goes off I am able to shove the worries out of the way. Next, I take a few minutes to write down whatever productive thoughts may have come about during my worry session, and then I take 5 minutes to clear my mind and focus on my breathing. I find these simple steps can be really refreshing and help me to concentrate on the things that I need to get done and can control. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week 2 - Add Weights to Lose Weight

Here I am after a week of trying to shrink and I've made some progress. I keep a record of it on the sidebar if you're interested. :)

I've been pretty good about drinking my water although I admit I haven't written it down, but I know I've been drinking plenty.... of water that is.... hehe.

Anyway, I write my calories and food group servings down so I can stay within the 1800 calorie guidelines.
This week I challenge you to really start paying attention to labels. At the very least compare the calories and fat calories per serving. i.e. Light Ice-Cream: Serving size 1/2 cup, 90 calories, 50 from Fat, but notice that the serving is only 1/2 cup! Pay attention and you may be surprised by how many servings/calories you're actually eating.

This week I'm increasing to a minimum of 10 pushups and 20 crunches every day. I've walked/jogged 5 of the past 7 days and a couple of those days it was for a couple of hours... not too shabby! :) I'm going to continue to walk/jog as frequently as I can for at least 40 minutes everyday.

I'm also going to add weights to my routine. If you really want to lose weight successfully, you have to increase your muscle mass which in turn increases your metabolism, besides I want to have awesome arms like Jillian from the Biggest Loser. I don't have time to write down each exercise right now, but I'll give you a summary on Friday. :) Just pick up a set of 3 lb. barbells and keep them with you and when you have a free minute do some basic exercises.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: 1

When baking something like cake or batter breads, use applesauce instead of oil. Use the same amount and you'll cut out a LOT of calories. One cup of oil has approximately 1600 calories whereas one cup of applesauce has about 100. That's a big difference. :)

Also, when you want to indulge in a treat but want to make sure you don't eat too much, deny yourself something to drink with it. I don't know about you but if I eat a couple of cookies and I don't have some milk to wash them down, then I'm able to refrain from eating an entire dozen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Meals: Satay Lettuce Wraps

Here’s a lowfat yummy recipe that you might want to try. We made this for dinner last night and my husband requests it frequently. The best part is, the entire dinner is only 1100 calories, so if you want to eat the entire thing, it's still less than a Big Mac, fries and a soda. Otherwise, it makes enough to serve 2 very hungry adults and one small toddler.

Satay Lettuce Wraps

1 lb. Lean ground turkey or chicken
8 oz. packet of mushrooms sliced
1 onion minced
2 inches fresh ginger grated/minced
-1 or 2 cloves of garlic minced (optional)
2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
½ cup apple juice or pineapple juice
¼ cup soy sauce
Hot sauce to taste
Head of iceberg lettuce washed

Brown turkey in pan, add onions half way through, cook until their tender. Add mushrooms, ginger ( and garlic) and cook 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add peanut butter, juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Stir until well coated. Serve in washed lettuce leaves rolled like burritos. ☺

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Sweets- Guilt-free Creaminess :)

Just a quick idea. If you enjoy Yoplait yogurt, and you enjoy ice-cream, try freezing your Yoplait. I promise you it's creamy, delicious, better for you than ice-ceam, and relatively guilt-free if you partake in dairy anyway. Enjoy! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fitness Friday:1

I have to convince myself to start slow, so the thought of the day is Small Steps!

I've decided that an achievable small fitness goal will be to run one mile without stopping. If I walk as much as I can, and run in progressively longer distances, I will succeed. What about you? Figure out one small realistic fitness goal you can set for yourself and begin working toward it. If I can do it, so can you! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday: 1

Body Health Thought:

Do you Eat to Live or do you Live to Eat? Put thought into your food choices. Are you eating something because it's convenient and you're hungry, or do you want to give your body the best fuel you can? Next time you go to grab a snack, think about whether or not it's good for you.

Brain Health Thought:

If you're anything like me as you work on de-junking your body you might want to clean up other parts of your life. I was thinking about my stress levels the other day and I decided that I was going to get rid of stressors that I have control over. This week I'm focusing on de-junking my house. I hate clutter, it makes me nervous and it's hard to relax when I look around and see clutter. I've decided to make a goal of getting rid of one piece of clutter every day. To accommodate this goal, I'm setting aside a box to fill to take to Goodwill. Think about it, if you get rid of one piece of clutter everyday for a year, that's 365 pieces of junk gone! ... Sounds great to me! :D

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 1- Let's Get Started

So I'm not going to overwhelm you with a million things to worry about this week, we'll start slow and build more stuff in.


-Take picture of self in a bathing suit, print it out and put it on the refrigerator. Nothing motivates me to stay healthy quite like seeing a real picture of myself looking not so!

-Purchase/Borrow/Find an accurate scale that you can check your weight on once a week or every other week.
(TIP: Check your weight no more than once a week because doing so every day can be really frustrating.
Also, always check it at the same time of day because your weight can fluctuate a pound or two throughout the day.)

-Get a measuring tape and record your starting measurements.

-Get a large 32 oz. water bottle and make it your daily goal to drink at least 2 full bottles of water every day.

-Get a notebook to use as a food diary and write down everything you eat every day. I find that if I have to write it down I tend to make smarter choices.

-Do at least 5 pushups (can be modified) and 10 crunches everyday.

-Finally, make an effort to take a walk for 30 minutes everyday minimum. (other forms of exercise are fine too.)

-For those who are extra motivated, here is a link to a daily diet guide. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And So It Begins

In highschool I had a pretty decent shape and I stayed active. I am 5' 9" and I weighed 150 lbs. As time went on my weight fluctuated up and down 20 lbs.

While I was pregnant with my son I ended up gaining 40 lbs more reaching 200 lbs. and I was very dismayed when I only lost 30 of those pounds once he was born. As I began nursing I thought I was supposed to lose weight but I was hungry and ate all of the time and ended up gaining 15 pounds back; so, I ended up at 185 my heaviest non-pregnant weight.

I decided that before I even considered getting pregnant again I wanted to get into the best shape I could. I worked really hard and got down to 165 with the same measurements from high school so I figured I must have had more muscle mass.

Anyway, I got pregnant shortly after achieving my goal and I tried really hard this pregnancy to not gain more than 30 lbs. and was successful by only gaining 29 lbs. Once I gave birth to my daughter I was curious to see what my weight loss would be. Here I am 6 weeks later and I fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes but that doesn't mean that I like the way they look. I currently weigh 170 lbs., but my measurements can definitely use some work.

This blog will be an account of my diet and exercise program as I get back into a healthy attractive shape. I will offer tips, recipes, and weekly exercise goals that you can try if you'd like to join me on this journey.
After my doctor's appointment tomorrow I will start Week 1 so here's your chance to get on the exercise bandwagon with me.

Here are my before pictures so I have something to measure my progress against. (Please don't laugh too hard.) :D