Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

Okay, please remember, this is a JOKE! lol! But I just had to share!

I hate aspects of this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism
and forced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food
police come out with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to
get through the holidays without gaining 10 pounds.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on
a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact
if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're
serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine
single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than
single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now.
So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's
not as if you're going to turn into an eggnogaholic or something.
It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later then
you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of
your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk
or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is
to eat other peoples food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Years, You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa. Position
yourself near them, and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each.
Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.
Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one
dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean have
some standards, mate.

10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around
the corner.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Alternative exercise?

A couple weeks ago, Jillian went to the local Martial Arts Academy for a Girl Scout meeting where they would learn self defense in order to earn a badge. She loved it! They got to learn all kind of neat moves and all the girls wanted to sign up for classes!

That really isn't a bad idea. Whether you're a young girl, or an adult, there's a lot you can learn about self-defense from Martial Arts. However, you need to be careful about which programs you get into. Are you looking for self defense? or just goofing around?

I found a site online that offers Close Combat Training that you can learn through DVD's in the privacy of your home. They state that you can find out the truth about Martial Arts from their site. Many people mistakenly believe that women cannot effectively defend themselves. That is a myth that Captain Chris' Close Combat program would gladly like to bust.

Captain Chris is the world leader in Self Defense. You can read his story of why he developed this system on his website at www.CloseCombatTraining.com It's a very interesting story of how he thought he was extremely well trained, but after being attacked, he realized he wasn't trained as well as he thought and spent a lot of money to search for the "real" answer to martial arts and self defense.

Now it's available to the public. Check it out! It could save your life!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuscan Chicken Soup

Here's a great recipe from Prevention.com that I wanted to share.

A hearty, colorful stew like this one makes use of what's in your fridge and pantry to help you meet your daily quota for heart health: Harvard researchers found that people who consumed at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 28% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than people eating fewer than 1.5 servings a day.

2 carrots, chopped (about 1 c)
1 rib celery, chopped (about 1/2 c)
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 med onion, chopped (about 1 c)
4 lg cloves garlic, minced (about 11/2 Tbsp)
1 lg bay leaf (or 2 sm)
8 c low-sodium chicken broth
3 c shredded roasted skinless chicken breast (1 lb)
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 c grated zucchini (about 1 med)
1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 Tbsp dried
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 Tbsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1/2 Tbsp dried
12 thin slices Parmesan cheese, cut with vegetable peeler (optional)

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 (12 cups total)

1. PLACE carrots and celery in small micro-waveable bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and cover top of bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender.

2. HEAT oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saut? another 1 to 2 minutes. Add steamed vegetables and bay leaf. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes longer.

3. POUR in broth. Add chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and artichoke hearts. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Add oregano, sage, and thyme and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Top each bowl with 2 slices of cheese, if desired.

Nutritional Info Per Serving

218 cal, 22 g pro, 19 g carb, 5 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 35 mg chol, 503 mg sodium

The garlic in this broth may improve blood flow by widening arteries

Monday, December 10, 2007

Health Insurance....

With all of Becca's different illnesses and various doctors, we get statements from our insurance constantly. We are extremely lucky that my husband has a wonderful health care plan with his company, because otherwise, I don't know what we'd do.

I talk with people daily who don't have any type of insurance whatsoever! They just hope and pray that they don't get sick! With as many tests and procedures that Becca has had, we never would have been able to make it without the health insurance coverage.

So what do people do if they don't have health insurance? Maybe they are self employed or their employer doesn't offer it? Then most likely, they have to look into a private company to purchase health insurance.

I found a company called Advantage Medical Quotes which offers traditional healthcare options as well as group, self-employed and HMO and PPO plans. You start by entering your state and some basic information and they'll give you information on a plan that will work for you.

You pretty much can't live without some type of healthcare coverage, so if you are in need, check out Advantage. They should be able to help you out and give you some peace of mind.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Workouts for every mood. . .

Don't let your emotions sabotage your workouts.

By Michele Stanten , Michele Stanten, Prevention's Fitness Director, is a certified group fitness instructor and counselor in the areas of weight control and stress management.

No matter how much you love your exercise routine, it can be hard to get yourself up for a salsa dance class when there's been another round of layoffs at work or your mother's ill. But studies have shown that even mild exercise--about 40 percent of your max heart rate--can lift your mood.

"Lots of people skip working out when their mood isn't ideal because they don't have the mental energy to switch gears," says mental health and exercise expert Jack Raglin, PhD, of Indiana University. "But the trick lies in finding the right workout to match the mood you're in." For example, some workouts have a calming effect, while others are stimulating. Here's what Raglin recommends to keep you exercising no matter what your state of mind:

When You're Angry "As tempting as it may be, skip the kickboxing," he advises. "You can't punch away anger. Instead, do something that involves your mind and keeps you from focusing and ruminating on what has you angry. Play racquetball, or take an aerobics class you've never tried. Learning new moves will free your mind from what's been upsetting you."


If You've Got the Blues
"Studies have shown that even mild exercise, about 40 percent of your max heart rate, can lift your mood," says Raglin. "So, if you're not up for the usual high-energy stuff, do some leisure activity you enjoy, such as digging in your garden or walking in a park. View it as mental recreation, not exercise."


If You're Feeling Bored "Being around people is a quick and easy way to beat boredom. Playing a sport with them is even better," says Raglin. "Try some tennis or golf. Get together with a group that walks or goes for bike rides on a regular basis. Being outside with other people is invigorating and engages your mind."


When You're Stressed Out "When your brain is overwhelmed and anxious, you need to turn to a mindless activity to settle it down. Something repetitive such as swimming or walking on a treadmill requires little mental input and is most effective at reducing feelings of stress and increasing calmness," he says.


If You're on Cloud Nine A happy mood can sideline a workout as easily as a sad one, especially if you feel too "up" to do your same old routine. "Take advantage of good moods to go out and challenge yourself. See if you can run one more mile than usual, or add another set to your weight routine. Use that energy to feel even better," advises Raglin. If you don't have the time or opportunity to do something new, alter your usual workout. Let your mood be your guide.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bites of Heaven...

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I'm a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate‑‑lucky for me they're both pretty healthy, if eaten in moderate amounts. Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E and magnesium and contains mostly monounsaturated fat, which may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Serving size: 3 cookies

Calories: 141

Time: 25 minutes + cooling time

Servings: 12

1/4 c + 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar

1/3 c trans‑free spread or vegetable shortening

1/4 c chunky natural peanut butter

1 lg egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c all‑purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 oz semisweet baking chocolate, broken into 36 sm chunks

1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

2. COMBINE sugar, spread, peanut butter, egg yolk, and vanilla extract in large bowl and mix until well combined. In medium

bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and stir until well combined. Divide dough into 36

cookies, using 1 generous teaspoon per cookie, and place on baking sheets. Lightly press each cookie down with fingers until

slightly larger than a quarter and about 1/4" thick. Bake until lightly golden, 9 to 11 minutes.

3. REMOVE cookies from oven and immediately press a chocolate chunk onto center of each. Cool completely on baking sheet

or place in refrigerator 15 minutes to firm chocolate.

Nutritional Info Per Serving

(3 cookies) 141 cal, 2 g pro, 15 g carb, 1 g fiber, 8 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 17 mg chol, 105 mg sodium

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Support group for PCOS!

Finally! A support group for those with PCOS!

I've been a member of an online support group called MDJunction.com for Becca's headache problems. It has been a wonderful source of information and comfort to know that others are going through the same thing she is. They have over 600 different support groups available!

I noticed that they didn't have one for PCOS, so I wrote to the owner to ask about it. He told me that several other people had asked about it as well, so they've recently added it!

So, you can go to PCOS Support Forums and join in on the discussions there! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding

Here's a great Fall recipe that you might enjoy!

Ingredients

3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
8 ounces (1-inch) cubed day-old French bread (about 9 cups)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, pepper, nutmeg, eggs, and egg whites in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in squash and onion mixture. Add bread, and stir gently to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until pudding is set and lightly browned.

Yield

6 servings

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 304(30% from fat); FAT 10.3g (sat 4.8g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 18.1g; CHOLESTEROL 122mg; CALCIUM 406mg; SODIUM 823mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 2.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.3g

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Muffins

These sound delicious! Just perfect for a fall brunch!

Pumpkin Muffins
Low Calorie Recipe

Ingredients:

2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Sugar substitute to equal 12-teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Two eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup grated carrots or zucchini
4 tablespoons raisins


Directions:

Combine sifted dry ingredients in separate bowl. Combine wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly. Bake at 350-degrees. for 20 minutes.


Recipe makes six servings.


Nutrition information per muffin:
Calories: 115
Total Fat: 2g
Carbohydrates: 19g
Protein: 6g

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bananas

We love bananas in our house, but my daughter Jillian is really on a kick right now of wanting a banana for a snack every evening. So what are the health benefits of a banana?

Creamy, rich, and sweet, bananas are a favorite food for everyone from infants to elders. Sports enthusiasts appreciate the potassium-power delivered by this high energy fruit.


Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.


The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. For example, researchers tracked over 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.


A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as bananas, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.


In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do you jump rope?

I haven't done much jump roping, but my girls want to give it a try, so we just bought a new one... I found this good article on the myths associated with jumping rope. Jump Rope - An Excellent Exercise.

Guess I don't have an excuses any more, do I? lol!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Soups On!

Last night at our TOPS meeting, we talked about eating healthy soups! Yummm, I love soup! The weather is starting to change, and it's the perfect time for some good soup.

I found a great website this morning called Healthy Soup Recipe and just like the name says, it is filled with healthy soup recipes! It has step by step instructions for making the soup and even gives you pictures of each step! Now this is my kind of recipe! lol!

I'm going to try the Healthy Chicken Chowder soup.

My favorite soup to make is Vegetable soup in the crockpot. Here's a similar recipe to what I usually make:

A flavorful crockpot soup recipe with potatoes, tomatoes, and corn.

Crockpot Vegetable Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound soup bones and 1 pound stew beef, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced
  • 1 can (12 to 16 ounces) whole kernel corn, undrained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes, diced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and finely chopped

PREPARATION:

Place the beef, water, salts, onions, carrots and celery in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the soup bones and chop any meat clinging to the bones; return to pot. Add potatoes, corn, tomatoes and turnips. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours longer.
Serves 10 to 12.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

52 Ways to Lose a Pound a Week

Here is a great article from Prevention.com.

You can lose weight and keep it off forever. How can I be so sure? Besides mountains of research from leading experts, there are thousands of Prevention readers who have successfully done it. Over the years, their letters and e-mails have been filled with practical tips, as well as the pride and pleasure of people who feel great about themselves. They can run, jump, play on the floor with the kids, wear sexy clothes--newly empowered to do whatever they want.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What a week...

Once again another crazy week in our household... yes, it was nice to have a long weekend over Labor Day, but it made things at work even more crazy than usual....

Becca has had a pretty crappy time of it lately healthwise.... She complained last week of having pain in her lower back, and we were afraid that it was her kidneys because she's on a pretty high does of motrin for her abdominal pain. Luckily, it wasn't that.... but it was a lower lumbar strain. Our pediatrician referred her to a massage therapist and she felt that that might help. So, we made an appointment with a woman that a friend recommended. She went on Wednesday. She spent over an hour working on her back and her head.

We gave her Becca's whole medical history (boy did that take some time!) from her daily Headaches which are going on almost 3 years now, to her abdominal pain since last October, to them finding her bladder cancer in November, being diagnosed with PCOS in January, to the continued abdominal pain.... anyway, she tried several types of deep massage that she hopes may help her. She worked on her back, abdomen (because there are back muscles that actually can cause pain in the abdomen) and her neck and head.

She warned us that she'd feel like she got hit by a Mack truck 24-48 hours after she worked on her, and she was right.... Becca came to my office after work Thursday in tears. Her head pain was about 8 and she couldn't even think straight. She was supposed to go to work, but she called in sick and went home... she couldn't make it to school the next day either because the head pain was so bad. She also could barely move her neck. Luckily by Friday afternoon, things started to ease up and she started feeling better.

This morning, she said her head is pretty much back to normal (normal meaning pain but tolerable) but that her abdominal pain was actually a bit better and the back pain was gone! So I guess it was worth it, besides the two days of hell she went through.....

Unfortunately, her therapist had emergency gall bladder surgery Saturday morning! Can you believe it??? Not sure what we are going to do now.... We were supposed to call her Monday and let her know how things were going.

Please keep Becca in your prayers on Tuesday as we head to the Urological Oncologist for Becca's second bladder scope since her surgery. We needs lots of prayers that there is no sign of the cancer returning!!!!

Hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Vegetarian Lasagna

Here is a recipe for Vegetarian Lasagna that sounds delicious!

Ingredients
  • 8 dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil or oregano, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1. Cook noodles and broccoli separately according to their package directions; drain well. Set aside.

2. For sauce, in a large saucepan stir together tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes, celery, onion, sweet pepper, basil, bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Summer reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves.

3. Meanwhile, for filling, in a bowl stir together egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Stir in cooked broccoli.

4. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with half of the noodles, half of the filling, and half of the remaining sauce. Repeat layers, ending with the sauce.

5. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 25 minutes; sprinke with mozzarella. Bake about 5 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are Summer Treats Adding to your Waistline?


Unfortunately, they are mine! I'm having a very hard time this summer... and the biggest culprit seems to be ice cream. Here's a great article from caloriesperhour that gives some great ideas on cool treats!

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During hot weather you may find yourself reaching for a cool treat to help beat the heat. Ice cream cones and root beer floats may temporarily help relieve the heat, but they'll most certainly add calories -- and pounds -- where you want them the least.

It's true that there is something very refreshing about a treat that is sweet and cool on a hot day. But it doesn't have to be something that's high in calories and melts away your ambition to lose weight.

When picking something sweet and cool, aim for 100 calories or
less. Options include Fudgsicles, flavored yogurts that you can
place into the freezer, even pre-portioned servings of ice cream.
And for that root beer float, use diet root beer and a low calorie
ice cream.

Cool treats that incorporate nutrients from fruits are always a
great option. So don't forget fruit juice bars, or simply a handful
of cold, crisp grapes or berries!

To make a cool, refreshing smoothie, try whirling frozen berries in
a blender with skim milk and a little vanilla flavoring. You can
also enjoy a frozen banana, dipping it into 2 tablespoons of
chocolate syrup. But that totals 200 calories, so consider sharing
it with a friend!

Sliced peaches and nectarines can be served really cold or even
frozen with a drizzle of vanilla yogurt for a delicious, cool
treat. And don't forget about the melons I wrote about a few weeks
ago. You'll find the article in our newsletter archives if you
missed it.

Finding ways to trim calories can be even tougher when you're
feeling deprived. By having low calorie cool treats as desserts or
special snacks, you can cool off without consequences.

Healthy Regards,
Megan Porter, RD
http://www.caloriesperhour.com/news.html

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Farmer's Market

Do you have a Farmer's Market near you? I just love going to them!

Farmers' markets are a great place to find the freshest sweet corn, the reddest, ripest tomatoes and the most fragrant, flavorful strawberries. You can taste heirloom varietals and sample hard-to-find items like ramps, morel mushrooms, cardoons and quince. Many market vendors provide recipes and cooking tips for their products. Some markets sell house-made jams and hearth-baked breads, free-range chickens and fresh eggs, making gathering ingredients for tonight's dinner a snap.

We went to one last week and picked up a nice variety of both fruits and vegetables, as well as some home made bread that was heavenly!

Next time you see a Farmer's Market, stop in! I'm sure you'll be eating healthy that night!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Anniversary Present

Mike forgot his wedding anniversary and his wife was really ticked off at him.

She told him, "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in under 6 seconds, AND IT BETTER BE THERE."

The next morning, Mike got up really early.

When his wife woke up a couple of hours later, she looked out the window, and sure enough, there was a small gift-wrapped box sitting in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe, ran out to the driveway, and took the box into the house.

She opened it, and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Mike is not yet well enough to have visitors.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Where can you get help?

Have you ever had one of those days when everything hurts? Like when you exercise for the first time and the next day, your muscles hurt with every single movement you make. Unfortunately, for some people, their body hurts constantly...

My Becca has suffered from a constant daily headache for 2 1/2 years. Yes, years. She has a headache every single day of her life. Some days, it's so bad, she can't get out of bed. Other days, it's bearable enough for her to go to school, but hard for her to concentrate. After countless doctor and hospital visits, and prescription after prescription of pain medication that did absolutely nothing, they diagnosed her with New Daily Persistent Headaches. The headaches will some day just disappear as quickly as they came. We're counting the days till that happens.

Some people have pain that is so intense that they may become addicted to prescription meds. To get pain pill addiction help, they can go to Meditox, which is a safe, confidential and effective home based medical detox program. We're extremely lucky that we haven't had to worry about that with Becca. But knowing the pain that she is in every day, I can understand why some people may become addicted to prescription drugs.

With Meditox, you'll get prescription drug addiction treatment right in your home. If you, or someone you know, needs Drug Detox Services, check out Meditox.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The PCOS Diet Cookbook

I've been looking for a diet cookbook that would be good for Becca's PCOS. I found it! It's called The PCOS Diet Cookbook by Nadir R. Farid and Norene Gilletz.

This book is filled with over 300 recipes and variations for women with PCOS and ones that need to follow a low glycemic index diet. It includes introductory chapters about PCOS and shopping and meal planning.

If you have PCOS, it would definitely be a great addition to your kitchen! Check it out!

Ramp It Up!

I took my exercising to the next level in Slim in 6 by doing the Ramp It Up section! It's 50 minutes long instead of only 25, so it's twice as long. Wow, did it seem long! lol!

It starts out with the exact same exercise as Start It Up, but a bit faster, which I like a lot. Then it goes into some new exercises and then down on the floor with a bit longer floor exercise. It ends with a few yoga moves. I truly felt like I got a great workout this morning and I'm very anxious to do it again tomorrow morning.

My weight this morning was 142.4. My goal for August is to lose those last 7 pounds. I plan to exercise every weekday morning and at least once on weekends.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Day Six!

I've made it 6 days doing the Slim in 6 Start It Up dvd! I feel much better than I did earlier in the week! lol!

Tomorrow, I'll take it up a notch and do the next level which is 50 minutes.... wish me luck! lol!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something for the BBQ

Here is a great article about BBQ'ing from caloriesperhour.com that I wanted to share.

Thinking of cooking hot dogs, hamburgers and brats on the grill this summer? These foods all add lots of fat and calories to your meal, so you'd do well to think about venturing out a bit and grilling up some lower fat options.

There are plenty of other choices that are great for your taste buds as well as your waistline. Freshen things up a bit by grilling a variety of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

Cooking vegetables right on the grill adds a wonderful flavor. Baste firm vegetables like peppers, corn, eggplant and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar. Then season them with herbs and place them on a hot grill until they are tender and brown, usually about 10 to 15 minutes.

Place harder root vegetables like carrots and rutabagas in heavy-duty foil and sprinkle them with a little water and seasoning. Then wrap the foil closed and place the bundle on the grill until the vegetables are tender.

Marinate lean meats, including poultry and fish, before grilling. A simple oil and vinegar dressing in a zip-top plastic bag works well and makes for quick cleanup. Brush on light, oil-based sauces during grilling, but baste with sauces containing sugars (fruit puree, honey, preserves) toward the end of the cooking so they don't burn.

Kabobs made from fruit are a delicious ending to any meal. Place them right on the grill, over low heat, until the fruit is hot and slightly golden.

To learn more about selecting and barbecuing lean meats, see Fire Up the BBQ and Make It Lean:

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/news_060510.html

To learn more about fun and healthy alternatives to meat, see Barbecuing Fruits and Vegetables:

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/news_060809.html

Treat yourself to something new from the BBQ this summer!

Day Four!

Yes, I've made it four days with the Slim in 6! I'm not doing too bad today, but boy was I sore yesterday! I could barely walk... Mostly it was my butt and thighs. There are a lot of lunges and squats, so I'm sure that was what did it. I had quilting class last night and I'm piecing together a quilt, so I was up and down in my seat a lot and felt like a little old lady!

I was very tempted not to get up this morning and exercise, but I knew that if I continued, I'd feel better in the long run ... and I was right. I have so much more energy when I exercise! I can notice a huge difference in my energy level throughout the whole day. In the evenings, I'm getting more done, and I'm sleeping better too, just after 4 days. The scales are showing that I'm down about 1 1/2 pounds since this weekend... but I must confess that I was very bad with my eating over the weekend when we went camping ... so when I weigh in on Thursday at my TOPS meeting, I'm not sure if I'll show a loss even with all the exercise.

But, I'm going to keep it up! I get to switch to the next section this weekend and I'm anxious to see how much harder it is... I hope it's not too hard! lol!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I did it!

I actually got up this morning at 6:30 a.m. and did the Slim in 6 dvd!!!! Woo Hoo! I'm so proud of myself! You have no idea how tempting it was to just hit that snooze button and roll back over. But I didn't. I got up and did the dvd, then got my shower.

I am determined to do it every morning this week. In the evenings, 3 days a week, I'll be doing the Strength Circuit training that I wrote about on July 13th. I also want to try to go for a walk every day this week at work. I walked one day last week and felt like I had gone for quite a while, so I measured it with my car after work and it was 1.2 miles. Not too bad. I try to walk briskly. But if I can do that a couple times during the week, in addition to the Slim in 6 in the mornings and the Strength training in the evenings, I should do pretty well in getting toned up!

Wish me luck in sticking to it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Slim in 6. . .

Well, I did the first Slim in 6 dvd tonight for the first time. Becca ordered them last week and has done it twice so far, but she did it when I was at work, so I couldn't do it with her. So, tonight we got home from camping for the weekend, and we did it together in the living room. I made it! lol!

It wasn't too bad. lol! Seriously, I did make it without too much trouble. My arms are very tired. I'm not used to using them that much! But that's what I need, to tighten up my underarms. They also do a lot of lunges, which will help tighten up my thighs, my other problem area! So this dvd is definitely going to be a good one for me.

So, I'm supposed to do this same dvd for 7 days straight, then I get to move up to the next level. I'm honestly going to try as hard as I can to keep up with it this week every day. My goal is going to be to get up at 6:30 a.m. and work out for 30 minutes before I have to get in the shower and get ready for work. I really want to try my best to do that every day.

Less than 3 weeks until we go to the beach and I'd really like to drop7 pounds by then... I really hope I can do it! These last few pounds have really been tough... I've been stuck between 142 and 145 for almost 3 months now. My goal weight is 135 and I'm at 142 right now, so I only need to lose 7 to get to my goal weight! But, I also really need to tone up.

So, that is what I'm going to work towards! I'll report my progress here!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ten Healthiest 100 Calorie Snacks

Found these great snack ideas over at Yahoo Food. Give them a try next time you're looking for a snack!

Snack Smackdown: The 10 Healthiest 100-Calorie Treats

Those 100-calorie snack packs are tasty, convenient, and perfectly portioned for calorie counters. And they're selling like iPhones on opening day. But what's nutritious about a handful of Cheese Nips or Oreo Thins (even with no creamy centers to lick!)? Instead, try these 10 far healthier 100-calorie treats. Stash them in your desk drawer, fridge, and/or car -- wherever hunger pangs hit you. The best part: Most will curb your appetite for hours because they're high in filling fiber or satisfying protein.

1. Mid-Morning Fill-Up Just add hot water to a 100-calorie packet of McCann's Instant Cinnamon Roll Irish Oatmeal, which smells ahh-mazing and comes sweetened with Splenda. No doughnut guilt and there's a bonus: 3 grams of filling, cholesterol-fighting oat fiber.

2. Peanut Butter Crackers Make sandwiches out of 6 All Bran Multi-Grain Crackers (45 deliciously crunchy calories) and 1½ teaspoons peanut butter (45 smooth calories). You'll get about 2 grams of fiber and a little healthy fat.

3. Apple Mousse Mix a cup of unsweetened applesauce (50 calories) with 3 tablespoons of fat-free nondairy topping (45 calories), and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Make a batch at a time and refrigerate in portable snack cups. Supplies 20% of your daily vitamin C and counts as 1 serving of fruit. Sweet.

4. Veggies and Dip Flavor up ready-to-eat veggies from the produce section -- which have almost no calories -- with a dip: 2 tablespoons of hummus (60 calories) or light ranch dressing (80 calories). For the veggies, think broccoli and cauliflower florets, baby carrots, snap peas, pepper strips, baby squash -- all of them filled with fiber, vitamins, and protective phytonutrients.

5. Café Mocha Stir a packet of Swiss Miss No-Sugar-Added Hot Chocolate mix (60 calories) into hot coffee for an instant afternoon pick-me-up that only tastes decadent. It actually delivers 30% of your calcium, 6% of your iron, and even a gram of fiber. Add a splash of milk for more goodness. Compare that to 200 calories for the smallest Caffe Mocha at Starbucks (2% milk, no whip), with 6g of fat.

6. Mexican Potato Microwave a medium potato and slice in half (80 calories). Save one piece for tomorrow. Mash the other half inside the potato skin and top it with 2 tablespoons of salsa (10 calories). Eat the whole thing, skin too. Warm-spicy-satisfying and 2 grams each of protein and fiber, some vitamin C, plus a little iron.

7. Finger Food Munch edamame like nuts: ½ cup of these quick-cooked frozen soybeans (about 95 calories) makes a great nibble, which is why they're a staple at hip bars -- which probably don't care that they're serving you 8 grams of protein, 4g of fiber, and lots of minerals.

8. Snack on a Mini-Meal When you're starving but trying to hold back, try this: Wrap a Morningstar Farms Vegan Burger (100 calories), a tomato slice, hamburger pickles, and a little mustard or ketchup in lettuce leaves instead of bread. The 10g of protein will keep you filled till it's really mealtime.

9. Happy Hour Combo Mix 1/2 cup of tomato juice (22 calories) with ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 drops of Tabasco sauce, and a dash of lemon juice. Serve over ice with a celery stick and about a dozen dry roasted peanuts (about 60 calories). Have a second "drink" if you like -- no biggie!

10. Healthy Confetti Crisps If chips are your downfall, make a batch of these RealAge crisps and divide into 6 portions (95 calories each). Much through a bag while sipping your club soda and lime. If you remember to, enjoy the good fat from the olive oil and the fiber and vitamins in the veggies -- though these taste so good you may forget they're healthy.

REALAGE CONFETTI CRISPS
6 servings, 95 calories each

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup each of peeled and thinly sliced purple potatoes, carrots, and parsnips

Mix the oil and seasonings together, add the vegetables, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Boost Metabolism with Strength Circuit

I found a GREAT Strength training program that I've printed out and am planning to use starting tonight!!! I found it at Prevention.com . They have 4 routines in this article, but I like the first one best. I've been looking for something like this and couldn't find one I was really happy with, but I have a feeling this is going to be it!

Boost Metabolism with a Strength Circuit


It includes Lateral Lifts, Chest Flies and Press, Plie Squats, One Arm Rotation Rows, Lunges, Tuck and Crunches, Uppercuts, and Rotating Knees. Only 9 exercises, but they work out your whole body. For the first two weeks, you are supposed to do this routine 3 times a week on non consecutive days using light dumbbells. Start off with 1 set of 12 to 15 repetitions of each move without stopping, or rest for no longer than 15 seconds. For weeks 3 and 4, you increase to repeating the circuit twice so that you're doing a total of 2 sets per exercise. After 4 weeks, increase the weights by 1 to 3 pounds.

I'll let you know how I feel after doing it tonight!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Smoking and Weight Loss

I'm not a smoker and never have been. But I have some friends who have run into the problem of gaining weight once they have quit smoking. I found this great article over at Calories per hour that may help if you're trying to kick the habit and are afraid you'll gain weight.

I thought this was a good ad :)

Smoking and Weight Loss

Heavy smokers and people who have smoked for a long time often gain a few pounds after they quit smoking. Unfortunately, smokers often use this fact to justify continuing to smoke. But this weight gain isn't inevitable.

Weight gain can be avoided by eating less and/or exercising more. And if you're making poor food choices now, simply eating healthier foods can do the trick.

Here are some of the reasons why quitting smoking causes people to gain weight:

  • Smoking increases your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. So quitting smoking will cause your metabolism to decrease a little to its normal rate.

  • People who quit smoking are inclined to eat more because they reach for snacks as a substitute for cigarettes.

  • People who quit smoking are inclined to eat more because food tastes better!

Quitting smoking is difficult enough without the fear of gaining weight. The primary reason that people gain weight when they quit smoking is that they tend to eat more, and you can control that. If you can keep from turning to food in place of cigarettes, and make a few adjustments to your eating and exercise habits, you won't have to gain any weight at all.

You know that smoking is bad for you. Now read what the American Lung Association says will happen when you quit smoking:

After 20 minutes:

  • Your blood pressure will decrease.
  • Your heart rate will decrease.
  • The temperature of your hands and feet will increase.

After 8 hours:

  • The level of carbon monoxide in your blood will drop to normal.
  • The level of oxygen in your blood will increase to normal.

After 24 hours:

  • Your chance of heart attack will decrease.

After 48 hours:

  • Your nerve endings will start to regrow.
  • Your ability to smell and taste will improve.

After 2 weeks to 3 months:

  • Your circulation will improve.
  • Your lung function will improve.
  • Aerobic activity (e.g., walking) will become easier.

After 1 to 9 months:

  • Symptoms including coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath will decrease.

After 1 year:

  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease will decrease to half that of a smoker.

After 5 to 15 years:

  • Risk of stroke will decrease to that of people who have never smoked.

After 10 years:

  • Risk of lung cancer will decrease to half that of continuing smokers.
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas will decrease.
  • Risk of ulcers will decrease.

After 15 years:

  • Risk of coronary heart disease will decrease to that of people who have never smoked.
  • Risk of death will decrease to near the level of people who have never smoked.
You don't have to gain weight if you quit smoking. And you'll be healthier, have more friends and more money, and smell better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sweet Potato Fries

Tasty Sweet Potato 'Fries'

I got this recipe from Angie Newton's Losing It and Loving It newsletter. Sounds delicious!

You will need one medium to large sweet potato, peeled.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick slices. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray foil with fat free olive oil spray. Arrange sweet potato slices on the cookie sheet and then spray the top of the sweet potatoes. Now you can sprinkle with sea salt or your choice of seasoning.
Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. No turning required. If you prefer crispier 'fries', bake a bit longer.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Natures Cures in Fruits

I love fruit, and so does the rest of my family. We're not big veggie eaters, so I push my kids to eat fruit as much as possible.

I found a great article over at Natures Cures where Diane gives the following list of fruits and their benefits to our body. Great, great list!
  • APPLES - the pectin in apples lowers cholesterol. They also stimulate digestion and help relieve constipation. Remember, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"!
  • APRICOTS - they are high in vitamin A and other minerals (like iron). Those clean the blood of impurities, and help us get over anemia. Apricots also help with acidic conditions and sluggish digestion and are helpful to inflamed bronchial tubes.
  • AVOCADOS - they contain essential fatty acids that our heart, brain and skin need. And, yes, they are a fruit!
  • BANANAS - they have been known to heal diarrhea, colitis, ulcers and constipation. The potassium in them makes them perfect for athletes as it gives quick yet lasting energy.
  • BLUEBERRIES - help clean the blood and ease inflammation. Adding blueberries to your diet can help with constipation, diarrhea, anemia and menstrual problems.
  • CANTALOUPE - is rich in potassium, vitamins A and C. Helps heal constipation, stiff joints, blood disorders, and obesity.
  • CHERRIES - cleanse kidneys, liver and urinary system. Rich in magnesium and iron they are excellent for high blood pressure, anemia and arthritis.
  • CRANBERRIES - help the kidneys and bladder because their acidity creates an environment where bacteria cannot thrive. Also used to clarify the complexion.
  • DATES - They are an energy - giving source of dietary fiber, iron and potassium.
  • GRAPES - have easily digested sugar for energy. Potent cleansers for liver and kidneys.
  • KIWIS - higher in vitamin C than most fruits.
  • LEMONS - they are a natural antiseptic, which makes them a powerful internal cleanser for the whole body.
  • MANGOES - helps strengthen poor digestion and overcome acidity in the body. Will help calm inflamed kidneys. They are also rich in beta carotene.
  • ORANGES - will help with high blood pressure, lung problems and vitamin C deficiency. They are alkalizing to the body.
  • PAPAYAS - rich in papain, which helps the digestive system. Contain a large amount of alkaline minerals, especially calcium, vitamins A and C.
  • PEACHES - improve color and health of the skin and the complexion. Valuable in treating anemia, sluggish digestion and high acid blood conditions.
  • PLUMS - great energizers and cleansers of the intestinal tract. They have a mild laxative effect which gives them the ability to relieve gas and hemorrhoids.
  • RASPBERRIES - have the ability to heal obesity, high blood pressure and constipation. Their ellagic acid is helpful in treating cancer. High in vitamins A and C.
  • STRAWBERRIES - rid the bloodstream, liver and intestines of toxins. They can benefit stiff joints and rid the body of excess catarrh.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

7 Day Fitness Boot Camp

This is exactly what I need to get me motivated again! Becca and I have kinda of stalled on our exercise program, so I've signed up for this 7 Day Fitness Boot Camp to help us get started again!

7 Day Fitness Boot Camp

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Why Drinking Water Is Important for Weight Loss


This is a great article from CaloriesPerHour.com that I wanted to share here on my blog. I am usually pretty good about drinking water, but some days it will suddenly dawn on me that I haven't had any! I think I might need to make a sticky to put on my computer screen to remind me to drink more!


Why Drinking Water Is Important for Weight Loss

There are many reasons why it is important to drink water, especially if you are dieting:

  • Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration.

  • The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.

  • Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.

  • Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired.

  • Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract, and it lubricates your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.

  • A healthy (weight loss) diet includes a good amount of fiber. But while fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

  • Drinking water with a meal may make you feel full sooner and therefore satisfied eating less. Note, however, that drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry), our bodies need bulk, calories and nutrients.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

You have probably heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. How much water you actually need depends on your weight, level of activity, the temperature and humidity of your environment, and your diet. Your diet makes a difference because if you eat plenty of water-dense foods like fruits and vegetables your need to drink water will be diminished.

You can do some research and use a calculator and measuring cup if you like, but nature's pretty good at letting you know the right amount to drink. When you drink enough water, your urine will usually be pale yellow, though vitamin supplements and antibiotics can discolor it. On the other hand, you shouldn't need to run to the bathroom too frequently. When in doubt, drink a little more.

Do not worry that drinking water will give your body a bloated look. There are a number of causes of water retention, including consuming too much salt. But drinking water is not one of them.

It is possible to harm yourself by drinking too much water, but it takes quite an effort. Either through obsessive-compulsive behavior or extended athletic activity, drinking large amounts of water can dilute the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in your blood to the point that it interferes with brain, heart and muscle function. Athletes compound the problem with the loss of sodium (salt) through sweating, but can drink electrolyte replacement drinks like Gatorade Endurance Formula to help keep things in balance.

Tips on Drinking Water

  • Drinking other liquids also provides your body with a source of water, but note that diuretics cause your body to expel water. Diuretics include caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and soda) and alcohol. When drinking diuretics, drink more water to compensate.

    When drinking alcohol, drinking water along with it as well as before and afterward may eliminate a hangover headache and feeling of tiredness. The water is optional; driving is not.

  • When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Try to avoid this situation by drinking in advance. Be especially careful when participating in activities where you won't be able to stop to get caught up.

  • You've heard countless advertisements telling you what product to start your day with. We recommend a couple of glasses of water to rehydrate your body. No charge.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We're Back!

We've been off on vacation for Becca's Make A Wish trip to Orlando! Check out my Bev's Bits blog to read all about it and see some of the pictures that Becca and I took.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

TOPS going well...

Well, our local TOPS group has been going strong for 6 months now! We have 10 ladies coming on a regular basis and most of them are doing fantastic! Our top loser has lost just over 35 pounds since February and is averaging about 7 pounds a month. She looks fantastic! I think she only has about 20 pounds to reach her goal.

I started the group in our church for both Becca and I, but unfortunately, Becca has to work every Thursday evening, so she hasn't been to a meeting in quite some time. She still continues to lose though, which is awesome! She's lost almost 20 pounds since February, so about 5 pounds a month. That's not a lot, but it sure is better than nothing!

I'm about 8 pounds away from my goal weight and I keep going up and down and up and down each week. I'm the same weight now as I was at the beginning of April.... so I've got to get my butt in gear and get serious, but not till we get back from vacation next week! lol!

If you are stuck with your weight loss, and need some encouragement, I strongly recommend seeing if there is a local TOPS group near you. It's a support group, not a weight loss plan, and it is much, much less expensive than weight watchers or other programs.

When I was looking for a TOPS group near me, the closest one was about 20 minutes from my house and to be honest, it was filled with a bunch of older women who had been going for years and were in it more for the socializing than they were for the weight loss. So I called the area coordinator and she told me that with 4 ladies, I could start my own group! So that's what I did. I found 3 other friends and we started our own group. It has now grown to 10 active ladies and we have a great time. The programs that TOPS provides for us to follow are very simple and easy.

Let me know if you're a TOPS member and how your group is doing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits & Veggies Each Day

Tricks for Healthy Treats
-- By Laura Bofinger, Staff Writer at SparkPeople
"Eat your fruits and vegetables." We've heard it all of our lives. If only it were so simple.

Our bodies crave fruits and vegetables more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need. We often think we'd survive just fine on 2-3 servings a day – or less. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA both recommend at least 5 servings per day! What you’re missing could be the difference between just surviving and all out thriving.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible.

Tips and Tricks
  • Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
  • Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fresh fruit.
  • Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
  • Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
  • Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
  • Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon and cheese.
  • Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish. It's an easy way to get in another serving of the good stuff.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
  • Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips -- and less messy. It tastes especially good when added to basic trail mix.
  • When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immdiately store the extra away for tomorrow. It'll save you time later on.
  • Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups.
  • If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple instead of fatty meats and extra cheese.
  • Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
  • Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
  • Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork, pineapple is great with fish, and orange slices are perfect with chicken.
Besides being packed full of nutrients, fruits and vegetables can also be quite filling. They may even ward off any empty calorie snacking that might follow! Don’t be discouraged by the recommended 5 servings a day. The guide below shows that one serving is less than what you might think.

One serving equals:
1 medium piece of fruit
½ cup fruit or vegetables (raw, cooked, canned, or frozen)
1 cup of leafy salad greens
¼ cup of dried fruit
¾ cup or 6 oz. of 100% juice
½ cup cooked peas or beans (from canned or dried)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

A lower-fat version of a perennial favorite. Prep and bake in less than 25 minutes!

INGREDIENTS
1 cup unsweetened blueberries, fresh or frozen
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon sugar

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with vegetable spray.
2. Wash and drain blueberries. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar together.
4. In a small bowl, combine egg, oil and milk.
5. Pour all at once into dry ingredients. Stir just enough to blend. Gently stir in blueberries.
6. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle lightly with 1 teaspoon sugar and bake 17 minutes, or until light brown. Allow muffins to cool 2 minutes before removing from pan.

NUTRITION INFO (per 1 muffin serving)
Calories: 119.4
Fat: 0.8 g
Carbohydrates: 24.9 g
Protein: 3.1 g

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Prayer Improves IVF Pregnancy Rate

Even though at this stage in my daughter's life, we aren't concerned about pregnancy and her PCOS, I know that it is something she'll have to think about in the future when she is married and wants kids.

I read an article about how prayer has helped improve the pregnancy rate in women who are undergoing IVF! Well duh! Of course it helps! lol! Anyway, here's the article. You can read it right from the website by clicking here.

By the way, I love this picture of a woman's pregnant belly and the little foot imprint!

Prayer Improves IVF Pregnancy Rate

ARTICLE: Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer?, Cha, KY et al, J Reprod Med, 2001; 46(9):781-7

ARTICLE SUMMARY: 219 South Korean women (age 26-46) undergoing in-vitro fertilization-embryo transfer were randomly assigned to one of two groups: One group received intercessory prayer; the other group did not. The intercessory prayers were carried out by groups in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Those receiving prayers experienced a pregnancy rate of 50% vs. 26% in the no-prayer control group. These results were independent of any other clinical variables.

DOCTOR'S COMMENTS: Regardless of whether you believe in prayer, this article does demonstrate that you can benefit from outside support, in whatever form it may take. Whether your goal is to become pregnant, lose weight, stay on a healthy diet, or be consistent with your exercise, support from other people will help you to get where you want to go. Or possibly you're experiencing emotional pain because of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It's important to find others who can understand how you feel.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cheesy Recipes

My family has always been big on cheese and pasta....

I found this recipe for Mac and cheese and I can't wait to try it!

Creamy Two Cheese Macaroni

1/4 Cup Flour
2 1/2 Cups Fat Free Milk
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
6 oz Velveeta Light Processed Cheese, cubed
6 Cups Elbow Macaroni, cooked
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375. Spoon flour into a cup and level. Heat a large pan on medium heat. Add flour and gradually add milk. Stir with a whisk to blend. Cook until thick. About 8 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup of the cheddar cheese, and the velveeta. Cook 3 minutes until the cheese melts. Remove from heat and add the macaroni. Stir until blended. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon mixture into it. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve.

Serves 9
Per Serving: 1 cup = 260 Calories
Food Points: 5.5


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Here's another one for Fettuccine Alfredo that sounds delicious!

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 Can evaporated skimmed milk
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic -- (cut in 1/2)
1/2 cup onion -- (cut in large chunks)
1/2 each green pepper -- cut in strips
4 Cups Fettuccine Noodles -- cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese -- shredded fresh

Combine milk, oil, garlic and veggies; simmer 10 minutes. Boil Fettuccine according to package. Drain. Put pasta and milk/veggies back into pan (the idea is that this should be hot enough to melt the cheese). Add cheese (Take some time with this, otherwise you will end up with a glob of cheese). Cover pan and let set 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4
Per Serving: 1 Cup = 283 Calories
Food Points: 6

Enjoy!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

It's Blogtipping Day!

Yep, it’s Blogtipping day! The first calendar day of each month is a new Blogtipping Day. I first started this on my Craft Blog, but this month, I'm planning to participate with all 4 of my blogs!

Here’s my list for June. Since dieting, weight loss and good nutrition are very important to women with PCOS, I'm going to concentrate on blogs that deal with those topics. Enjoy!


Blogtippee #1: Pinch of...

This blog is written by an Australian mom of 2 and tells about her weight loss journey. She's got a lot of great posts about carbs and other interesting topics.

Blogtippee #2 The Diet Pulpit

What a humorous blog! It's filled with silly stories, pictures and some great recipes! It's a fairly new blog, but she's doing a great job!

Blogtippee #3 A New You, NOW!

Another fairly new blog, but she's got some great information included already! Her posts really make you think... which is a really good thing!

That’s it for this month! Take a moment to check out each of these fantastic craft blogs! Come back next month to see who I Blogtipped!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Blind Girl

This is PCOS related, but it's definitely something to remember....

There was once a blind girl who hated herself for no other reason except that she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?" The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind. Not wanting to be burdened by a 'blind' person, she refused to marry him.

Her loving, devoted and understanding boyfriend walked away in tears. His heart obviously broken.

The girl who had been so fortunate to have the world opened up to her, continued enjoying it; day in and day out.... trying to never miss a single pleasure life had to offer.

One day she received a letter from her ex-boyfriend stating simply.......

"I sincerely hope you enjoy your life. Your happiness was all that ever mattered to me. I am so happy that you are enjoying life as I always hoped you could. I would like to ask one parting favor of you my dear ... Just take care of my eyes."

This, as sad as it may seem, is how the human brain changes when our status changes. Only a few remember what life was like before and who's always been there even in the most painful situations.

Life Is A Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn't clean or sweep -
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Counting Calories

Along the same lines as the 100 Calorie Packs I wrote about previously, I'm always looking for quick and easy ways to keep track of the calories I eat each day. I found a great site that does the calorie counting for you! It's called My Fitness Pal.

This site offers a free calorie counter that is so simple and easy to use! And the best part is, it learns from you! We often eat the same foods over and over again, and this program remembers what you've eaten most often in the past, and makes it easy for you to add those foods to your log. The more often you track your meals, the easier it becomes!

My Fitness Pal works with any diet, whether it's Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach and others. They also offer messages boards that provide motivation and help 24/7. And the best part is, it's FREE!

So if you're looking for a quick and easy calorie counter, check out MyFitnessPal.com.

100 Calorie Packs

Have you seen these? I think these are an extremely smart marketing idea. I'm one of those people that has a hard time stopping at just one handful out of the bag of chips, or a couple cookies out of the box. With these 100 calorie packs, it's so much easier to stop after 100 calories! You've finished the bag, and you're done. Check out all the manufactures who offer 100 calorie packs:

Balance Bar
Hostess
Oberto
Pepperidge Farms
Jell-O Pudding
Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn
Chex
Jolly Time
Pop Secret
Frito Lay Brands
Keebler
Pringles
Goldfish
Klondike
Thomas'
Hershey's
Nabisco
Vitalicious




Yosemite Chicken Stew and Dumplings

Skinless chicken is the basis of this delicious stew; cornmeal dumplings are made with low-fat milk.

INGREDIENTS
Stew

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken meat, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1 pinch ground cloves
1 bay leaf
3 cups water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 package frozen peas

Dumplings

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sifted whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS
Stew
1. Place chicken, onion, carrot, celery, salt, pepper, cloves, bay leaf, and water in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling; cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 1/2 hour or until chicken is tender.
2. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Strain broth.
3. Skim fat from broth; measure and, if necessary, add water to make 3 cups liquid.
4. Mix cornstarch with 1 cup cooled broth by shaking vigorously in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. 5. Pour into saucepan with remaining broth; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened.
6. Add basil, peas, and reserved vegetables to sauce; stir to combine.
7. Add chicken and heat slowly to boiling while preparing cornmeal dumplings.

Dumplings
1. Sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix together milk and oil. Add milk mixture all at once to dry ingredients; stir just enough to moisten flour and evenly distribute liquid. Dough will be soft.
3. Drop full tablespoons of dough on top of braised meat or stew. Cover tightly; heat to boiling. Reduce heat (do not lift cover) to simmering and steam about 20 minutes.
Serves: 6

NUTRITION INFO (per 1.25-cups stew & 2-dumpling serving)
Calories: 299.9
Fat: 4.5 g
Carbohydrates: 41.3 g

Protein: 23.6 g