Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Saw a Dietitian

I had my dietitian consult on Monday. I strongly recommend that anyone trying to lose weight or anyone with a medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes consult with a dietitian. I got a free consultation through Hershey's Moderation Nation website. I follow Cheryl Forberg RD on twitter. She is the Registered Dietitian on The Biggest Loser and she tweeted the link for the free consults. FREE. YES, FREE!! How could I miss out on a free consult with a dietitian? There was no way that I was not going to do this. I have been struggling for months now and this was an opportunity for me to get professional nutritional recommendations. I saw Stasha Kucel, RD in Lewisville. She was great and took all of my yo-yo weight history and eating insanity and came up with a plan for me. I'm doing the diabetic exchanges. I get 1400 calories and here are my daily guidelines:
  • 6 starches
  • 3 fruits
  • 3 fat-free dairy
  • 3 veggies (at least)
  • 6 oz very-lean or lean meat
  • 3 fats
  • Continue my 165 minutes or aerobic exercise per week
  • This is 53% carb/26%protein/21%fat
This increased my dairy, veggies, and meat and decreased my fruit. I am weighing and measuring because I need structure or I will over-estimate my portions.(One of my best kitchen tools is my digital food scale.) The biggest change for me is the dairy. I normally only got in one fat-free dairy serving a day, usually fat-free Greek yogurt, so drinking milk is weird to me. In a past life I drank skim milk but I had eliminated that from my diet even though I enjoyed it.

My first obstacle was the fact that it would be Saturday before I could have a major shopping trip. I had just picked up a few items over the weekend. I was drinking my husband's milk before I remembered that he refuses to drink fat-free milk so he has 2%. With milk prices so low, I stopped today and picked up a gallon of fat-free milk. I am also eating more yogurt so I had to get more yogurt too.

I also had planned to use a frozen dinner for my lunch on Tuesday but when I looked them there was no exchange information on the box. I have not been doing this long enough to calculate the exchanges by looking at the package and I knew that a couple of them just wouldn't work, so I was off to Wally-World. That was a trying experience. I knew what I wanted for dinner so there were only certain things that I needed for lunch. I finally found a Healthy Choice dinner that would do. I am realizing that I'll have to plan a frozen dinner as if I were eating out. They always have more starch than I want and never enough veggies. That is really no surprise, but it's really hitting home now.

My next problem was September birthdays. One of my friends who is also a co-worker is celebrating her birthday. Since she is participating in our office weight loss challenge she asked me to make a Healthified Tres-Leches Cake. Since it's a healthified version the exchange info was listed on the recipe. It was easy to plan ahead so that I could have a small piece.

Overall, this will work. I just have to get adjusted to it.

Here is the link for the Moderation Nation website. Isn't it funny that Hershey's is sponsoring this?

Here's the cake

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I ran into a friend on the jogging trail last weekend. She was riding her bike. The trail is 3.5miles long. After I finished my walk, she passed me exiting the trail. That's when I realized that she had passed me twice on that trail and she had probably ridden 10.5 miles that morning. Every time I see her around town, it involves exercise. I see her at the gym or walking or biking on one of our trails. (Yes, our little 'burb is blessed with both a nature trail and a trail around the sports complex.) Before, I thought of her as naturally petite. Now I realize that she puts in the time and effort that it takes to be fit, healthy and look great. Lesson learned!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

I have lost 2.2 lbs since Monday! I really got with it. I am journaling religiously, making sure that I get in my workouts and drinking the water. I am really hitting the water. Our new Shrinkvivor challenges continue the water, log the time spent on workouts (works better for me than miles), and no fast food. This will be easy for me. I don't "run through the drive-thru" very often.

I am struggling with the "eat clean" vs convenience foods (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, etc.). I can control the portions if I use the frozen meals for some of my breakfasts and lunches. They do have to be supplemented with extra veggies or fruit. I will still opt for whole grains, no HCFS or "corn sugar or whatever they have decided to call it these days. My other problem is artificial sweeteners. I am trying to limit them but I do have a sweet tooth. If I want to share baked goodies with my family I use Splenda Sugar Blend or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend.

I made an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. I am so excited. I am fairly knowledgeable about nutrition but there is always more to learn, especially when you can have a free consultation with a professional. In the past it has been easier to drop the weight, but this time I am really struggling so her input will be invaluable. Here's the link to the website where you can locate a dietitian and print a certificate for a free consultation.

I didn't wait until Thursday to start my challenge. Tonight was 15min of circuits to get warmed up then 30min on the dreadmill. That's it! I'm off to the showers and bed.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Today was weigh-in day for my office challenge. Guess what? I didn't lose any weight. The good news is that I didn't gain any weight. I have not done well this week. I haven't had any terrible binges, but I can just eat too much "healthy food".

My game plan for this week
  • Journal--even after I get home and all weekend
  • Workout--daily. I cannot let life interfere. The treadmill at home helps but I can't walk as many miles as I can on the trail.
  • Continue the water from the Shrinvivor challenge
  • Keep the faith--Do not get discouraged. I have all of the tools if I will just use them.
Let's see how well I can do before the Shrinkvivor weigh-in on Wednesday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 Heart Walk

It's that time again! On October 30, I will be participating in the Denton Heart Walk. This is a cause that is very dear to my heart on both a personal and a professional level. Unfortunately, too many of us have a loved one affected by heart disease or stroke. An estimated 81,100,000 American adults (more than one in three) have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Among blacks or African Americans, 10.2 percent have heart disease, 31.8 percent have hypertension and 3.6 percent have had a stroke. To help stop this, I will be walking in this year's Start! Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association. I have set a personal goal to raise funds that are needed for critical heart disease and stroke research and education.

You can help me raise funds and protect those you love by making a donation online. Click on the link below to visit my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer a smaller amount, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.

Your donation will make a difference in the fight against our nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers-heart disease and stroke. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Have Become My Mother

There is usually at least on thing every day that makes me say, "I have become my mother." Usually it's cooking late at night or just staying up late, or making a song out of any sentence or even, or asking my hubby if he's going to eat veggies today. This time it was the phrase, "They have just run out." In other words, they have just run out of something to do. Lady Gaga caused me to say it this time.

First there was the meat outfit. OK. I get it. You're an artist. You want to wow us with your insane creativity, even though most of us are repulsed by the thought of your wearing flank steak on your head. If I close my eyes and listen to your voice maybe I can get rid of the meat-dress visual and let that gross moment slide.

The straw that broke the camel's back (there she goes again...) was this outfit she wore to LAX. Yes, LAX, the airport.
Is she totally insane? A bra and panties with fishnets over them and a belt with handcuffs. Finish it off with a tiny jacket half-on and insane shoes and voila! you're ready to go. Can you imagine traveling with your child and having to explain that outfit? I also cannot imagine dressing that scantily and sitting on a seat where thousands of others have sat or sitting in that seat after her. OMG!!!!! That is just gross.

A lot of parents are exposing (seriously) their children to any artist, music, or movie. Are you ready to see your daughter stroll around in that outfit? Think about it. Take the time to screen your children's music, videos, games, movies, and internet. Then screen your own. As adults, what influences are we inadvertently exposing children to? Our children, teenagers included, are sponges and we are responsible for whatever they absorb.

OK. I'm done. Should I break into song now or send that girl a pound cake? She could gain a couple of pounds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 2 Newsletter

This is the newsletter for our second week.....

Fall 2010 Weight Loss Challenge

Issue 3

Good morning everyone!

Today is our second weigh-in. I hope we're seeing less of each other this week!

If anyone is interested in joining 24Hour Fitness remember to join through BCBS. The fee is only $29 per month—no contract! This includes Super Sport clubs. (Lewisville Main Street is a Sport club; Castle Hills at 121 and Main/Josey is a Super Sport club.) You can also go to the 24Hour Fitness website and check-out the class schedule, take a tour of the gym, and get a free 7-day pass to see if you like the gym before signing up.

Also, Weight Watchers is running a special for a free month if you use the monthly pass option.

Cooking Shortcuts

  • To save time, buy frozen chopped onions and/or frozen seasoning mixes (onion,celery, bell pepper). If you are making a large pot of soup, beans or stew just dump the bag into the pot!

  • Keep frozen vegetables and frozen stir-fry on hand for quick meals or for another version of last night's meal.

  • Rotisserie chicken is a great time-saver and it is already seasoned. To use in a dish, remove the meat from the bone while the chicken is warm or re-heat in the microwave then remove the meat from the bone.

  • Make soups in large batches (use that slow-cooker) and freeze individual portions.

  • Casseroles can be assembled and frozen before baking. Just thaw in the fridge for 24hrs before cooking.

  • Peel and freeze overripe bananas and use in smoothies and muffins.

  • Muffins and pancakes can also be frozen for quick breakfasts.

Today's Recipes

Zero POINTS® Value Slow Cooker Soup

Course: soups
POINTS® Value: 0
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 300 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Works with Simply Filling

Here's an Italian-spin on our famous zero POINTS® value soup. We made it in a slow cooker but it can be simmered on the stove top just as well.


10 oz spinach, baby leaves

2 medium carrot(s), chopped

2 medium celery, ribs, chopped

1 large onion(s), chopped

1 medium garlic clove(s), minced

4 cup(s) vegetable broth

28 oz canned diced tomatoes

2 piece(s) bay leaf

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed


Place all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on high power for 5 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

© 2010 Weight Watchers International, Inc. © 2010, Inc. All rights reserved.
POINTS are the registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. and are used under license by, Inc.

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins


Serves: 12

3 medium very ripe bananas

1 eggs

1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk or 1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or 1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend)

1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)

1/2 cup quick oats

1 1/2 cups flour (or equal amounts white flour and whole wheat pastry flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 -3 tablespoons chocolate chips (may use more)

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional—if you like nuts, add more)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Lightly coat 12 muffin tin liners with cooking spray and place in muffin tin.

  2. In large bowl, mash bananas with fork.

  3. Whisk in egg, milk, applesauce, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.

  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.

  5. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and combine well.

  6. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

  7. Spoon equal amounts of batter into 12 muffin cups.

  8. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  9. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then remove to wire rack.

Nutrition: Calories 167.1 , Total Fat 1.2g , Dietary Fiber 1.2g ,Sodium 316.0mg, Protein 2.7gm

© 2010 All Rights Reserved.

My First Newsletter

Here's a copy of the initial newsletter that I wrote for our office weight-loss challenge.

Fall 2010 Weight-Loss Challenge Newsletter

Number 1


Hello all!
Welcome to the 2010 Weight-Loss Challenge. Hopefully we'll all accomplish our weight-loss goals for the challenge and one of us will get a nice monetary reward at the end of the challenge.

First, most of our group would like to begin our challenge on Tuesday, September 7 instead of today so that we could enjoy the Happy Hour and Labor Day weekend with no restrictions. If you have already started watching your food intake and ramping up the exercise, keep up the good work!
We also discussed making our weigh-in fees every payday. Five dollars was discussed and hopefully that will be feasible for all of us and give us enough winnings to be motivational. The first person to lose 10% of their starting weight will get a prize and the top two “biggest losers” will share the final winnings. If we need to make any changes please let me know.

Weight Loss Tip of the Week

Don't drink your calories!
Watch out for sugar sweetened sodas and bottled teas. The extra calories can add up. When choosing a drink always check the nutrition label. Some drinks are actually more than one serving! Water is always best! Check out the recipe of the week for a refreshing water idea!

Recipe of the Week

Flat Belly Diet Sassy Water

2 liters water (8.5 cups)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (buy in the produce dept and peel before grating)
1 medium cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves (wrap in paper towel and store un-washed in baggie in fridge)
Let flavors blend overnight. If the flavors are too strong, don't make it the night before and/or reduce the
ingredients (except water) by half. If there is an ingredient that you don't like, just omit it.
Have a great week!

First Weigh-in Newsletter

Here's a copy of the newsletter for our first weigh-in.

Fall 2010 Weight Loss Challenge Newsletter

Issue 2

Today’s the Day!

Today is weigh-in day. Hopefully everyone had fun over Labor Day weekend. See Christy to weigh-in—Let’s get started!

Housekeeping Items

We will contribute five dollars each payday to the jackpot

Our prizes will be:

Grand Prize Winner (Highest percentage of weight loss) will receive 80% of total jackpot

Runner-up (Second highest percentage of weight loss) will receive 20% of total jackpot

First 10 (First person to lose 10% of their body weight) will receive a special gift

Quick Weight Loss Tips

When it comes to finding quick weight loss diet tips that work, selecting your foods for your diet can be a real balancing act. You have to lose some of what you’ve grown accustomed to and add some items that may be new to you. Here are some quick weight loss tips that experts recommend to promote weight loss.

Quick Weight Loss Tips #1 – Reduce fat.

With regard to fat, the research is clear: Diets too high in fat promote overweight and obesity. You should strive to consume no more than 25 percent of your calories from fat – and that fat should the “non-saturated” type.

Quick Weight Loss Tips # 2 – Don’t be so sweet.

Numerous studies have linked table sugar to increased calorie consumption. While sugar doesn’t do as much dietary damage as fat, you’ll find that when you eat sweets, you simply want to eat more… of everything. Not only that, but sugar also makes your body excrete chromium, and chromium is a mineral that helps your body build calorie-burning lean tissue – so you want to keep your chromium levels up.

Quick Weight Loss Tips #3 – Drink up.

“If people want to keep their nutrients in balance, they need to drink plenty of plain, unflavored water every day,” says Judy Dodd, R.D., past president of the American Dietetic Association. Water not only acts as a solvent for many vitamins and minerals but also is responsible for carrying nutrients into and wastes out of cells, so the body functions properly. As a rule of thumb, you should drink a half-ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily, unless you’re very active, in which case you should increase your water intake to two-thirds of an ounce per pound of body weight daily. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water a day as a minimum

Quick Weight Loss Tips #4 – Fill up on fiber.

You can curb your hunger by increasing your intake of dietary fiber, which is filling, so you feel full but eat less. For these diet tips, experts recommend eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereals.

Quick Weight Loss Tips #5 – Get treatment for food allergies

Some researchers believe that being overweight is the result of people craving foods that they are allergic to. For these people, weight loss is extremely difficult until they figure out what those trigger foods are and eliminate them from their diets.

“There are specific food allergies that trigger uncontrollable craving and bingeing,” says Joseph D. Beasley, M.D., director of Comprehensive Medical Care in Amityville, New York. “It’s a common problem in overeaters.”

If you suspect that food allergies might be part of your problem, ask your doctor to help you identify the offending items. Your doctor may recommend that you see an allergy specialist.

Quick Weight Loss Tips#6 - Get fit

Last, but not least...but MOST IMPORTANT! Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Start out slow and work your way up. Join a gym or buy weights or other equipment for your home. Bike riding and taking long walks are great. Get fit.

Featured Recipe:

MYM Fudge Brownies

From The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook by Jillian Michaels

Nutritional Info

  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.6g
  • Calories: 85.0
  • Protein: 1.2g


Olive Oil Spray for pan
2/3 cup mild honey (preferably organic)
1/3 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white, whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large egg, at room temp
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


Makes 16 (2") brownies

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8-inch square pan with olive oil. Set aside.

Place the honey in a large glass-measuring cup, Microwave on high power until the honey is runny and just bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the cocoa and stir with a fork until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended. Add the honey-cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it; about 25 min. Do not over bake. Place the plan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing into 16 squares. (Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days.)

Number of Servings: 16

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching Up

I has been too long since I posted. Let's see what's been happening.

First the weight-loss challenge has begun! The trash can in the break room was full of Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice boxes today! It's the "dash for the cash"!

I am writing a weekly newsletter for the challenge. It contains info about the challenge, health and fitness, tips and recipes. I'll post them here soon.

I did manage to lose a pound the first week. I was so afraid that I would gain or not lose that first week. It's amazing how some people start a new program and lose seven pounds the first week. Not me! Never! Even when I kill myself at the gym. I have done Zumba, Masala Bhangra, 30-Day Shred and my Tworkout with my Twitter pals. Normally I am starving after Zumba, but today I was so exhausted that I wasn't hungry until about 90 minutes after the class.

I went back to Arkansas Labor Day weekend. I had a great visit with my cousin, met some of my cousin's friends, and saw a lot of old friends that I hadn't seen in a long time. I really needed that boost. It really makes you feel good when you go home and everyone is glad to see you and think you look good even when you've put on a few pounds.

I'm still trying out new recipes. This week was Split-Pea Soup. The peas were purchased in the bulk food section of Sprouts and I finally put together the soup. When I decide to make something and I don't have a recipe, I usually "Google" the recipe and take the ingredients that I like from each recipe. The soup is easy. You need dried split-peas (I used the green ones.), chicken broth, water, onions, carrots,celery and some type of meat (I used ham shanks.) I added a packet of Sazon seasoning and threw it all in the Crock-Pot. (I love, love, love my Crock-Pot!). I also threw in a bay leaf and a pinch of fresh thyme. At the end of cooking, puree 3/4 of the soup (or as much as your blender will safely hold) then return it to the pot. It's yummy!

I love muffins. I was one of those people who would eat a large muffin and then scream when I realized how many calories they contained. I have been addicted to Jillian Michaels' Banana Blueberry Muffins from the Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. Now I'm on the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins that I found on I had a little help eating them so I had to make a second batch!

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

    • 3 medium very ripe bananas (I freeze overripe bananas and thaw them for baking and smoothies.)
    • 1 eggs (I use All-Whites)
    • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk or 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    • 1 1/2 cups flour or 3/4 cup white flour and 3/4 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 cup quick oats
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 -3 tablespoons chocolate chips (This amount is not nearly enough!)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (More is you like nuts; omit if you don't)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat 12 muffin tin liners with cooking spray and place in muffin tin.
  3. In large bowl, mash bananas with fork.
  4. Whisk in egg, milk, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and applesauce.
  5. In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and combine well.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  8. Spoon equal amounts of batter into 12 muffin cups. I use fold muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.
  9. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then remove to wire rack.
The original nutrition info was: Calories 167, Fat 1.2, Fiber 1.2mg. I added the applesauce, oats, and extra chocolate chip but I haven't run the recipe through recipe builder for final nutritional info.

It's time to get my rest. That is another challenge!!