Thursday, March 29, 2012
Here's the recipe:
2 tablespoons of miniature dark chocolate chips
The fat, of course, comes mostly from the nuts in whatever nut butter you choose to use...again a healthy fat your body needs. You could reduce the amount of honey, and you could omit the chocolate chips entirely, but you really wouldn't want to...trust me.
Kinda reminds me of eating cookie dough.
Store them in the fridge. They keep for about a week or so, but you probably won't have them around that long. My grandsons just love them, and I would much rather them eat these than candy bars.
They travel well, unless you leave them in the car on a very hot day. I put 3 of them in my purse in a zip-loc bag when I leave the house or in a little cooler/lunchbox so I won't be tempted to stop at a convenience store or a fast food drive through if I get hungry
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I buy these huge bags of almonds at Sam's for about $9.00. I would say there is enough to make at least 6 batches of nut butter.
Add 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds. I buy these at the grocery. This bag was $3.29 as you can see.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Let's start with the bad news. There is NO magic pill, supplement, or diet plan to loose weight easily. Fat will NOT magically melt off our bodies. There is no ONE BEST exercise. I am sorry to break this news to you.
The good news is that we can all be at a healthy weight, get our blood pressure and cholesterol levels to a healthy number, and make our muscles and hearts stronger. A little bad news again...it takes some effort, thought, and planning. I have had many friends ask what plan I follow, and how I have lost weight on my journey. When I tell them I have been eating clean and exercising (including cardio, strength training, and flexibility), some of them really don't want to put forth that effort. Well, if you don't put any effort into it, you really can't expect to see any results. Trust me on this one. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, lifetime member of Fitness World...a now long defunct fitness gym in Memphis, calorie counter, yada yada yada. Yes, I have tried it all. But it takes a lifestyle change to last.
Today's topic is Sugar...I mean poison. It is as addicting as cocaine. Hello, my name is Sheila, and I was addicted to sugar. Though it does taste so good, sugar is very inflammatory to our bodies. Anything that causes inflammation causes disease. Heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, arthritis are all related to and worsened by inflammation. Inflammation at the cellular level also causes our bodies to put on fat. Let me explain this. When we ingest sugar, our bodies break it down and it gets into the bloodstream. Sugar molecules are large molecules, and are like small shards of glass floating around in the blood vessels. These large molecules cannot get through the small vessels of the kidneys, retinas, and heart and brain...causing kidney failure, blindness, and blocked arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Our bodies respond to the sugar by pumping out insulin. Insulin helps the glucose to get into the cells where it can be utilized by the body, and out of the bloodstream. This brings our glucose levels back closer to normal, but these insulin surges cause the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands. In the presence of cortisol, our bodies effort to lose fat is on lock-down. It can't happen. Not to mention, the excess cortisol causes insomnia,increased heart rate or palpitations, irritability, fatigue, increase in blood pressure, muscle tension, among other uncomfortable synptoms.
This is why it is recommended to eat every 4 hours to keep blood sugar levels at a more even keel, and to increase metabolism. Each meal or mini-meal should include a small amount of healthy fat, protein, and carbohydrate...just not in the form of sugar. Whole, natural foods are the way God intended for us to get our sugars. Think fruits and veggies, and whole grains. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Warning: watch any food that claims to be low fat---they usually have to add lots of sugar to make it palatable. Read labels!!!!!
"What do you eat?", you ask.
A typical day's diet for me might be:
breakfast : a protein shake as I have shown on a previous post
snack: a few dates and small handful of almonds
lunch: large salad full of veggies, with a boiled egg, diced chicken,a few walnuts, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
snack: yogurt with some granola , or an apple and some natural peanut butter, or some cottage cheese and sliced peaches or pears
dinner: lean meat like chicken, baked sweet potato, and some cooked spinach
I go to bed pretty early, so I don't usually need another snack late-night, but if you are up late, your body needs fuel.
This may sound boring, but it is really easy. There are ways to "clean up" just about any recipe you have. Read some clean-eating magazines and cook-books for new recipes. Search the internet for clean eating blogs. Some of them have some great recipes. Here are a few of my favorites sites:
Start slowly, start simply...just start somewhere. Make a few better choices. I promise once the sugar is out of your system, you will no longer crave it. And you will feel SOOOO much better and have more energy.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Bake for about 25 minutes, turning once.
We enjoy them with a little ketchup. Our dinner was pan sauteed fish with Greek seasoning, roasted asparagus, and roasted sweet potatoes...pretty healthy , and very delicious.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Are you drinking your water and moving?Eating your breakfast every day? Now add some flax.
Monday, January 23, 2012
I highly recommend her latest book, Just The Rules
Another source of inspiration is a book by Dr. Oz...You On a Diet.
I have been reading and researching these books for the past year, and I have learned a lot about nutrition. (I wish I could go back to college to become a registered dietician, but I digress. )Here's the gist of the diet.
You try to eat food as close to the way it is provided for us in nature. Eat an apple or an orange instead of drinking the juice. Fruits and veggies are the healthy carbs our diets should include so we can get our full range of vitamins and minerals. I try to limit breads, but when I have a sandwich, it is on whole grain bread. I use whole grain pasta and brown or wild rice instead of white pasta and rice. Oatmeal, as I have mentioned in my post on breakfast foods, gives energy and protein and warms your tummy(sprinkle cinnamon on top, its delicious). No sugar...it really is poison to your body. Sugar causes insulin surges making it more difficult to lose fat. In fact, belly fat is directly related to sugar intake. I will post soon about sugar. I eat lots of salads, beans, chicken, salmon (I really like those little foil pouches of pink salmon by Chicken of the Sea). I have a steak once a week ,but I no longer put butter and sour cream on baked or sweet potatoes. Instead of craving sugar, I now crave sauteed spinach...must be just what my body is needing. I love Chobani Greek yogurt (one serving has 14 grams of protein). I use olive oil for sauteeing spinach, chicken, and dipping bread occasionally. Avocadoes are a good, healthy fat. Healthy fats are good for your heart and skin, and actually don't make you fat if eaten in moderation...just a drizzle, not a cup full. Almonds and walnuts are a great snack containing healthy fat and protein.
I have learned to read labels. Make sure food is real food. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, don't eat it. Try to choose foods with lower sugars and higher protein, and make sure to eat plenty of fiber rich foods...they keep you feeling full longer. In fact your body needs to be refueled about every 4 hours to function at it's best, so be prepared with healthy snacks when you leave the house, so you won't be tempted to run through fast food or buy a candy bar. The energy you get from the candy bar will fizzle out quickly, leaving you hungrier than ever.
Just remember, God designed our bodies to eat for our fuel. He created all the right foods necessary to our bodies. When men and women of the Bible ate, their foods were natural, whole foods, like nuts, grains, seeds, fish, fruit, vegetables, with an occasional find of some sweet honey from a honeycomb. They did not go through the fast food lane or into a convenience store. I believe our bodies are still meant to eat this way, and will funtion best when we are given the right foods in proper amounts.
All this said, I do have a treat every now and then, but it is more an exception than the rule. This keeps me sane, and I find that I really enjoy that treat more that I don't eat them everyday.
Think about these concepts, and keep it as clean as you can .
Friday, January 20, 2012
I downloaded a neat app on my iphone called SportsTracker. It was free, and when you go for an outdoors walk, it will tell you how far you went, and how many calories you have burned. Along the way, it updates your speed, and your distance. Check it out. I just love it. It also allows you to play music on your phone's Ipod at the same time.
Just this week, I joined a local gym. I had a session with a personal trainer yesterday, and he taught me some new exercises, mostly to strengthen my core. I am not really trying to lose pounds now, but I do want to add muscle and strengthen. Weight lifting exercises are important for increasing strength, muscle tone, and improving bone density. Building muscle increases your metabolism dramatically. For each pound of muscle you add, you can burn up to 50 calories more per day . If you add 10 pounds of muscle that adds up to 500 calories daily which means a 1 pound loss of weight per week. So, you can see, that by getting rid of fat and increasing your muscle mass, you could really see a difference in the course of a year.
Once again, I have nothing magical, but if you drink lots of water, eat a good breakfast, and exercise, you will start to see results.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Your Mother probably told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She was right. After fasting for about 12 hours your body needs fuel. You need something with protein to sustain your hunger, and some carbs to start the burning process. I like to think of the carbs as small twigs and kindling, and protein as the big logs in a campfire. It takes both to get a roaring fire going, and that's just what I want for my metabolism. I want to become a burning machine. If you limit your calories too low, the "flame" goes out , and your metabolism slows.
While I am on the subject of blenders, let me plug my Ninja blender. This thing has some power! It has 3 sets of blades, and it gets the job done. It has been used and abused this past year, and it still works great. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has them for about $100.00, but they always accept expired coupons, so you can usually get additional $20.00 off. Not cheap...but so worth it if you need a good blender. Also note the neat milkshake straws I found there. They have a larger diameter , and make it much easier to drink a shake from.
#3: This quick...go to breakfast is a bowl of cereal in skim milk. I have a large Rubbermaid cereal dispenser, also from Wal-Mart, that I keep a mixture of cereals in. These are the 2 most recent cereals I have purchased. Kashi cereals are delicious, and the Fiber One cereals have tons of fiber in them. I like the Kashi Island Vanilla wheat squares, and Go Lean Crunch or Go Lean Crisp. Just try to pick cereals with lower sugar and higher on the fiber and protein. I always cut up 1/2 banana and throw in a handful of frozen blueberries to my cereal.
I have found that eating every 3-4 hours keeps my hunger cravings at bay, and gives me the energy I need to get through the day.
Healthy eating this week...and eat your breakfast!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
If you can't link to the magazine photo, here is my version of before and after pics.
Tip #1: Drink Your Water
Drinking water is so important to our bodies. In fact our bodies are made up mostly of water. Water is calorie free, it promotes weight loss, helps flush toxins from the body, aids digestion and elimination, helps to increase energy, prevents dehydration,boosts metabolism, and aids in clearer skin. Carry a water bottle with you at all times, and drink a glass as soon as you wake up, with your meals, and in between meals. My Tervis Tumbler glass pictured above goes everywhere with me, and I mean everywhere.