Tag Archives: living

Workouts pay off!

Pay yourself when you have a good workout…a simple and fun incentive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

A fellow WordPress blogger (Spagate) shared this neat idea to help motivate her to exercise. She created an exercise jar, and paid herself when she engaged in a good workout. Although she had seen the idea elsewhere suggesting putting $1.00 in the jar for each exercise session, she puts in a quarter for each 15 minutes, stating that “not  every workout is worth the same!”

I decided to get a bit creative with mine, making a colorful design on my computer. I’ve thought about subtracting $1.00 for days I don’t exercise when I should, but decided not to go there! Spagate made the suggestion to “save up for something special”, and I like that idea. Now, what will I buy when my jar is full? A new piece of exercise equipment, perhaps?

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Filed under calorie reduction, creativity, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities

Influencing the next generation

Much to my dismay, neither of my adult kids eat very healthfully. However, my seven-year-old granddaughter seems interested in my dietary habits. So last night, I sat at the table and made out a simple chart of the basic food groups, and how many servings one needs, accounting for variances for my adult status and her kid’s one.

Then, after she hit the hay, I stayed up late doing one on the computer, with lines for each group (ex: for the fruits, I said, two to three servings, and put three lines for writing down what we ate). I had shown her on my filled-out chicken-scratched version what I had eaten yesterday, and that I was short on fruit as I only ate two, and was also short on my grains, as I had one less than normal. Then I said, “I think I’ll have an apple!”, and I wrote that in.

When she gets home today, I’m going to have a list of all my foods I’ve eaten, and work with her to put them on the correct blanks. Then I’ll make sure (with her help, of course), to balance my “chart” at supper or for a planned bedtime snack. 
I think I’ll print off two more copies to let her have one to fill out, and maybe my daughter will join us (hehe)!

Just wondering…do you have success influencing family members? I’d love to hear your methods!

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Filed under balance, calorie reduction, children, creativity, example, healthy eating, meal preparation, Uncategorized

Eye-foolery

Simple tricks can help us eat less. Here’s a blog I published about the topic on my Sparkpeople.com page. If you’ve never checked out Sparkpeople, I highly recommend it – the nutrition/weight-loss/healthy-lifestyle tools are incredible!

Smiles from Slimvictory!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=JUSFOLK.

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, meal preparation, menu planning

LIGHT food on A&E show “HEAVY”?

As many of you are surely doing, I again tuned in for “Heavy” on A&E last week. Reasons for being overweight run the gamut, but it boils down to regularly overeating and/or eating too much of the wrong variety of foods.

Well, I’ve been waiting to see participants actually sit down to a meal, and on this latest show, it finally happened. After pushing themselves to the limit with gym exercises, walking and swimming, the featured guy and gal sat down to a spartan  dinner.  We were just given a quick glance at the plates, but the discouraged expression on the faces of the two diners was certainly evident. A glimpse at the meal showed what looked to be an average-size bowl of greens-based salad, about a half-cup scoop of  something I’m assuming was a protein source or possibly a protein/grain combo, a tiny serving of vegetables, and a drink. Perhaps this was not the whole meal, but that’s all viewers were shown. (One of the elite spa’s employees did mention that participants’ daily calorie quota ranged between 1200 and 1800 calories, which is certainly a reasonable amount for those wanting to lose weight.) 

But from my perspective, those who see this kind of meal, and think such a strict regimen is what is required to rid themselves of excess poundage are being given an unrealistic model.  My calorie goal is 1400 daily, and my lightest meal of most any day is around 350 calories, which, well-planned, provides me nourishment and satiety for a few hours. Here’s an example of two meals that add up to around 750 to 800 calories, leaving around 600 calories for the other meal and a couple of snacks:  Breakfast – 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1 slice 50-calorie whole wheat toast, 2 tsp. vegetable-oil spread and a bit of jelly, 1 cup 1% milk, coffee, and a piece of small fruit. Lunch – about 3-ounces lean protein, 1 fat serving, 2 non-starchy veggies (half-cup servings), 1 to 2 grain/starch servings and a fruit.

It has been exciting and impressive to see the results and changes in both weight and attitude in “Heavy” participants at the end of 6 months, but the process being a role model on how weight loss is done wouldn’t be one that’d draw many devotees. I’m hoping, on future shows, to see meals that would give encouragement to the everyday Joe or Joni, that calorie-reduction does not have to equal deprivation.

Surely one of the program’s goals is to see participants lose as much as possible in the 6-month time frame. However, for those who – armed with knives and forks – are doing daily battle in kitchens and cafeterias across the country, there is hope: by eating wisely and healthfully, and exercising most days, a person could realistically expect to shed around two pounds a week (over 50 pounds in six months, which is a great accomplishment), and provide a LIFESTYLE one could live with. Your thoughts?

 (A note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive new articles as they post, please sign up on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)

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Super-simple Tilapia Recipe

Fish and other lean protein can help produce weight loss. (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

I had made up my mind I would not like tilapia…until I tasted some cooked in a rich, spicy, butter sauce. Deciding to try my hand at a healthier recipe, I came up with this:

  • Tilapia fillets (3-4 ounces each)
  • Parkay buttery spray
  • Cajun spice (I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic)
  • Lemon pepper

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees. Line pan with foil. Lightly spritz fillets with buttery spray on both sizes, and dust with spices. Cover and bake about 15 minutes; uncover and bake about 10 more minutes or until done.

I had also decided I was not going to like Mrs. Dash, but I made one fillet with the buttery spray and a good sprinkle of the Original Blend of Mrs. Dash, and found it to be incredibly tasty as well. Either way, a heart-healthy dish, for sure!

(Note from Slimvictory – if you’d like to receive my new articles as they post, please subscribe on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, meal preparation, menu planning, nutrition data, recipes

On-the-run breakfasts can still meet nutritional needs

Breakfast on the run can still jumpstart your day (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

A bowl of steaming oatmeal with a fresh-cut orange and a side of cinnamon toast, eaten leisurely with a couple of mugs of coffee is my choice of a day-starter. However, many people probably consider a “day-starter” the time their ignition keys make their car engine turn over.

And often, we don’t take time to eat. Yes, we all know how important a good breakfast is. The word comes from “break the fast”, which is exactly what the morning meal does. We may have not eaten for close to twelve hours, our physical engine is running on empty, and our metabolism is definitely stalling out.  Fuel is needed, but the morning time-crunch can prevent that from happening.

It’s so easy to grab a sugary treat as we breeze through the local fast-food joint, or run in the gas station. A fuzzy brain and some hunger pangs about 10:00 a.m. will probably be the results of this choice. However, a little pre-planning at the grocery store can help us fuel up and get our metabolism revving. A protein/carb duo is a wise morning choice, but in lieu of scrambled eggs and a whole-wheat muffin, the pictured breakfast can hold you in good stead. The Fiber One Chewy Bar provides a whopping portion of fiber to keep you satisfied (with only a few grams of sugar), the “pre-packaged, ready-to-eat” banana  is easy to consume and provides additional fiber, and a cup of milk (skim or 1%) provides needed calcium and also a chug-a-lug of protein. So in this quick “meal” (which you could grab-and-go, and  consume in five minutes before entering your workplace), you have good portions of healthy carbs, fiber, protein and calcium, all for about 325 calories.  

The fruit and milk are a healthy given, and there are many choices of breakfast-type bars on the market. Careful label-reading is advised, though, as some are loaded with sugar.

All in favor of a quick, healthy breakfast, raise your keys!

(A note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive my new articles as they post, you can subscribe on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, fruit, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, meal preparation, menu planning, nutrition data

Simple Steps to Weight Loss Success

Choosing foods you enjoy will improve your chances of weight-loss success (photo by Ann Maniscalco).

Small decisions (steps) can add up to big results! Using the acronym SIMPLE STEPS, here are a few easy pointers that have helped countless folks shed excess weight:

  • S: Serving size – measuring your food before plating it will help you avoid portion-distortion.
  • I: Individualize – a plan that will work for Tom, Dick and Harry may not work for Mary! The only way to lasting change is finding a healthy-eating plan YOU can live with for life.
  • M: Meals – don’t skip them, especially breakfast. Eating at regular intervals will keep your metabolism revving.
  • P: Plan for indulgences – the mantra, “all things in moderation”, holds many dieters in good stead. Yes, you can eat cake; just work it  into your weekly plan.
  • L: Link with others for support. Being accountable to others – either online or in your community – will strengthen your resolve to stay the course.
  • E: Exercise – you’ll lose weight faster by combining exercise with eating better, and exercise will help you firm up your soon-to-be- sagging excess skin.
  • S: Start your meal with a glass of water. Since our stomachs hold about a quart, eight-ounces of H2O will help you become satisfied sooner.
  • T: Take your time. It requires about 20 minutes for your brain to get the satiety signal from your stomach, so eating slowly and savoring every bite will help you stop before you’ve over-indulged.
  • E: Entertain positive thoughts. Make up your mind to de-rail negative self-talk.  Your past failures do not define your present chance of success. Envision where you will be in 6 months or a year, and set intermediate goals and plans to arrive there.
  • P: Patience – you didn’t gain all your extra adipose tissue in a month or two, so don’t expect to say good-bye to it that quickly. Losing an average of two pounds a week can rid a person of about 25 pounds in just three months, and 100 pounds in a year’s time.
  • S: Step-by-step – most everyone falls off the wagon once in a while. Just shrug your shoulders and jump back on board at the next meal.

(A note from Slimvictory – if you want to receive new posts by e-mail, sign up at the top of my home page. And if you are helped by what you’ve read, please consider sharing my blog with others!)

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, decisions, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, physical fitness