Tag Archives: lifestyle

Simple changes promote healthy living

(Slipping a dollar bill into my exercise jar each time I work up a sweat provides impetus to regular workouts. When the jar is full, I decide on and purchase something new for my healthy lifestyle journey!) 

Making changes is often hard, but sometimes some simple changes we implement can have a profound effect on our well-being. In our First Place 4 Health meeting recently, I encouraged participants to think of three such changes they’d make during this twelve-week session. As they shared, I jotted them down on the board and later compiled the list. Here’s what we came up with:

·         Keep a food journal/diary

·         Eat on time

·         Remove junk food

·         Consume more fruits and veggies

·         Get plenty of rest

·         Prepare food ahead

·         Eat less processed food

·         Engage in regular exercise

·         Drink more water

·         Eat out less

·         Spend more time in prayer and Bible study

·         Remove (or lessen) stressors

·         Make a menu

·         Avoid buffets/fried foods

·         No late-night eating

·         Stay in touch with a friend/accountability partner

 

Weight loss is never a matter of the stomach only; in First Place, we realize we’re made up of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components, and each has a bearing on our wellness journey. Seeking balance under the lordship of Jesus Christ can provide real and lasting victory! 

As I looked over this list, I noticed these four life entities are addressed. I think I’ll print these reminders out and place them on my refrigerator!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bible study, calorie reduction, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, decisions, empowerment, fellowship with God, First Place 4 Health, freedom, God's purposes, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, physical fitness, prayer, right perspective, struggles, victory, Wisdom

Our First Place 4 Health Celebration Dinner

Foods fit for First Place

Healthy food can be delicious and satisfying!

Recently, we concluded our inaugural session of First Place 4 Health with a Celebration Dinner. The program materials suggest having this special time to give participants the opportunity to bring some healthy dishes they’ve prepared, to be enjoyed as each shares what he or she has gleaned from the previous 11 weeks.

What a wonderful variety was available! Mike brought a massive bowl of fresh fruit pieces, Theresa provided a chef salad with the usual ingredients plus chopped dried and fresh fruits, which she served with a light, sweet dressing. Ruthie made salmon patties and a dish of marinated fresh veggies from First Place recipes she had found. Belinda made a big pot of turkey chili with various types of beans. Sue wowed us with her dessert concoction: an angel food cake split into two layers, which she filled and topped with a yogurt and light cream cheese icing with crushed pineapple stirred in. Anita roasted a variety of veggies, seasoned to perfection. I brought sliced lean ham and whole grain bread, along with another light dessert.

Even as several of those present finished off their plates and went back for seconds, there was no need to feel guilty, as all the dishes were either low-fat, low-sugar, reduced-calorie and/or lean. It was a good lesson for us all, that we can enjoy get-togethers that involve food, be perfectly satisfied, and yet observe a healthy meal.

No deprivation was seen around these tables. Now, if just a few family members would make these kind of changes at holiday or other celebration events, or church members would follow suit at the monthly pot-luck luncheon, perhaps we could change the status-quo, and also the size of our waistlines!

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September 18, 2012 · 7:30 pm

USDA’s My Plate compared to Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate

Note from Slimvictory: I found the following article from Harvard Medical School (www.health.harvard.edu), comparing their “Healthy Eating Plate” to the growing-in-popularity “MyPlate” found at www.choosemyplate.gov. It’s interesting to see how two well-respected authorities can come to different conclusions on basic nutrition guidelines (although they do have areas of agreement).

If I HAD to choose between the two, I’d pick the Harvard version; it gives more info, and  I like their idea of adding a bottle of heart-healthy oil to the dinner table. But I wouldn’t replace the glass of low-fat milk with tea or coffee, as the protein-punch the cow-juice packs can provide extra satiety. Also, since the USDA is trying to educate parents about preparing healthy meals for the entire family, a low-fat dairy item would be a better choice than caffeine-laced beverages included in Harvard’s choices (of course, water’s always good).  And a middle-of-the road option between the Harvard plate’s use of oils without restricting serving sizes, and the USDA plate, which ignores vital oils altogether would be beneficial.

Of course, a simple one-page plate diagram (meant to be a quick guide for making healthy choices) can’t take the place of detailed nutritional data (like serving size guides, how some “vegetables” should be considered as a grain or a protein source, choosing a variety of colors, and such). But by spending time on both these sites, savvy consumers can find more information to help them make informed choices.

What are some of your go-to sources for advice on healthy eating?

And now, here’s the Harvard article intro and link:

Back in June, federal authorities unveiled MyPlate, an icon designed to help Americans follow healthy eating patterns. Its a nice, colorful image that was a welcome successor to the misguided MyPyramid. But it doesnt offer much in the way of useful information.

via Harvard to USDA: Check out the Healthy Eating Plate.

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Filed under decision-making, food, healthy weight loss, making changes, meal preparation, Uncategorized

An Updated List of Healthy-Lifestyle and Weight-Loss Resources

Thrift stores have proved a treasure-trove of resources for books to add to my “fitness library”. Averaging around a tenth of what these tomes would cost new, I’ve come across some great reads. If memory serves me right,  Mark Twain said, “I am a part of all that I have met”, and this holds true for my gleaning info from these well-written books.

From some sources, perhaps just a few thoughts might be what I’ve imprinted on my mind, while others have dozens of dog-eared pages I peruse from time-to-time. The First Place 4 Health materials, Thoroughly Fit, Bod 4 God, Never Say Diet, and Winning the Food Fight are written from a Christian perspective, and the others are secular reads.

All these (please see my updated “Resource Faves” at the top of my page) have an important place on my book shelf, as they’ve helped keep me focused on my weight-loss journey, which I’ve discovered has no end! Indeed, my healthy eating plan isn’t  a diet… something I “get on” and plan to “get off” at some time when my scale hits the number I’m seeking. It’s a lifestyle I plan (and pray) to continue as long as I have the physical and mental abilities to do so.

Yes, these resources are “part of all that I have met”, and I’m thankful that they’ve found their way into my possession!  Since this is my hundredth blog as Slimvictory, I thought this would be a good topic for this milestone!

(If you’d like to receive my articles by e-mail as they post, sign up at the top of my page. Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.)

My favorite place to find “new” resources for my library!

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Filed under example, mindset, nutrition data, perspective

Cravings…we can CHANGE them!

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann Maniscalco

I’ve been working on a fixer-upper house. Patching walls and shopping for new fixtures isn’t exactly aerobic exercise (now, wielding a paint roller… maybe). But as my days and hours were spent on such tasks, my exercise routine went down the drain (wait, is that sink leaking?!?). As a few pounds crept back on, I realized that, although I was eating carefully most of the time, I wasn’t balancing the nutrition with the perspiration.

About two weeks ago, I determined to go back to baby steps and learn to “walk” again. After being up to an average of about 45 mins of aerobic exercise five days a week and smokin’ that, I found myself struggling to do 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Strength training had disappeared totally, and what had been firming up was flabbing out:(  My body had begun to CRAVE inactivity!

But just this week, I’ve been able to get some 30 minute, and a couple of 45-minute workouts in, and after just getting going, I’ve noticed my craves have changed again…my body now WANTS to move, and it feels SO good to be back!

So I encourage you, if you are enduring your exercise instead of enjoying it, perhaps your crave-change hasn’t kicked in yet. Assuming that you are sweating to some calorie-burning routine that YOU chose above other less-desirable options, just keep at it. Before long, I’ll bet you’ll crave breaking a sweat!

And I’ve found this works for food as well… by making good choices over less-healthy ones, and keeping it up for a couple of weeks, what we are consuming will begin to become what we desire to take in, and those junk-bars will lose their hold!

(This is my 99th blog…trying to decide what #100 will be!)

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Filed under balance, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities, victory, walking

Choosing your calories wisely

It’s not as necessary to eat less to lose weight as it is to eat better. Consider the decadent and delicious treats available at your local Krispy Kreme shop,  and a healthier meal option.

Suppose you are planning tomorrow’s breakfast. Let’s say you want to have a meal of about 350 calories. Here are two choices:  the first option – one Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Custard Filled donut and a half cup of skim milk; option two –  a scrambled egg, slice of whole-wheat toast with a light coating of margarine-type spread and your favorite jelly, a small piece of fruit and a cup of skim milk.

Option one would satisfy your sweet tooth as it sends your blood-sugar level skyrocketing, only to plummet soon after, possibly leaving you fuzzy-headed, cranky, and craving another fix in about an hour. Option two gives you a tasty, healthy, and filling meal with offerings from all the food groups, providing sustainable energy and keeping you satisfied for most or all of the morning.

I consider my daily calorie-quota as a bank of sorts, with the foods I eat as “purchases”. I can “spend” my calories in ways  that’ll nourish me throughout the day, or I can dole them out carelessly, and find, before bedtime, I’ve run out and am hungry. In that case, I’ll have to face the music: try to sleep with a growling tummy, or eat more calories than I wanted to.

This is just one comparison. Favorite fast-food restaurant meals can easily pack 1,000 calories or more, and often the fat and sodium content are through the roof!  We can definitely benefit by reading the nutritional info of our favorite less-than-healthy foods, and consider better trade-offs. For me, it’s a fun challenge to see how much bang I can get for my calorie buck, and to feed my body with fuel that’s good for it as well!

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Filed under breakfast, calorie reduction, counting calories, decision-making, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, meal preparation, mindset

First Place 4 Health – for the four-sided person we are

This Saturday, I’m planning to participate (with three others from our community) in a statewide First Place 4 Health  leadership training seminar. This incredibly-successful program (www.firstplace4health.com ) focuses on the four components of a person’s life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

The program materials  assume that those who consider taking part in the 12-week group sessions accept (or are open to) the fact that they are the creation of a loving God. With this knowledge, they can run the gamut from being passionate to just a bit curious about discovering how that truth plays out in their lives, and how to apply it to their weight-loss journey.

Make no mistake – First Place 4 Health (FP4H) is not just a Bible study. The nutrition plans are well-researched, thorough, sound and widely accepted as a healthy way to eat that one can live with the rest of his/her life. A member’s kit contains resources covering scores of topics (from time management to developing a healthy self-image to making wise choices with meal planning), DVDs (including one about emotional eating), and a hardback book chronicling FP4H from its beginning in 1981 to the present, and sharing numerous success stories of men and women. And another vital part of the program is the encouragement and support members receive from being part of a like-minded group.

Back to the four-sided person: the FP4H premise of looking at these four components recognizes that weight-loss success isn’t just about controlling the appetite. There is often emotional baggage one must deal with before habits can be permanently overcome and changed. Some may just not have the nutritional know-how to make wise choices. And others may come to realize a spiritual void in their lives, and journey toward wholeness in that area.

It’s easy to prioritize the physical aspects of weight management, but countless individuals have seen lasting success by focusing on the whole person. I hope you will consider the FP4H program in your healthy lifestyle quest!

 A note from Slimvictory:  If you’d like to receive my articles as they post, you can sign up on my home page. Your comments and questions are welcome and appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bible study, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, faith, First Place 4 Health, healthy weight loss, Jesus, making changes, priorities