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Leading by example

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sometimes they surprise you, they really do.

I try not to nag my husband about his eating habits. I absolutely know that nagging does no good. But I know that I still do it sometimes. Because I want him to feel better, but that really isn't an excuse.

I know how I feel if someone berates me for my eating habits, and mine are pretty good.

So it's something I continue to work on.

Just yesterday I asked my husband if he'd be willing to walk to a restaurant maybe once a month now that the weather is getting so much nicer (and yes, I know that it can still snow -- even into April -- but right now it's beautiful!). I almost fell over when he just immediately said yes.

This is the same man who moaned and groaned when I said he could have ice cream in the summer if we walked to get it? I'm sure when push comes to shove there will be more moaning & groaning, but I have his answer and as far as I'm concerned, it's the final answer!

I mentioned that Runner's World had an ad with some pet friendly walks within our area. Weekend trip kind-of-things. Would he be interested? Maybe. But he went and found a pet friendly 5k fun walk in May and has already registered for it.

Now, lest you be concerned that my husband is truly changing his stripes, he wants me to watch the Alton Brown episode where he explains how he lost 50 lbs recently. Because he thinks it's in line with a lot of the things I talk about. Including ditching the soda (even the diet soda).

So I asked him would he consider giving up his soda? No. No ifs, ands, or buts. Sigh. Even appealing to his spendthrift tendencies gets me nowhere on that one. I think it would do him a world of good; I think part of the reason he's so tired all the time is he's probably chronically dehydrated.

Someday maybe I'll wear him down on that one.

I'm also trying to keep practiicing trying to eat like a normal person. Sudden invitations out to eat can throw you into a tizzy. They fall into my carefully planned eating process.

DH has been wanting to eat at Red Lobster since they started to run the Lobsterfest commercials. I know being the el-cheap-o he is, he would never pay their price for simple boiled lobster, which is how he likes it. Yet we go thru this every year.

And for some reason here Red Lobster is almost always packed. As in go on the weekend at 4 pm and you'll have to wait. So DH decided we should meet for dinner there last night. I hadn't planned for it, but I said yes. We don't eat out that much anyway (maybe 3 times a month, as opposed to most people's 3 times a week, and that includes ordering in a pizza).

I could, of course, be all virtuous and just get some veggies and grilled fish. But really, where's the fun in that? I got the baked stuffed tilapia with a (small) baked potat0 and the broccoli (really, can't they give us a bit more of that?). And there's half left of the fish for another meal (even tho I could have eaten it all, despite a huge salad -- very late lunch -- just a couple of hours before).

I couldn't find a whole lot of nutritional info for Red Lobster before I left. I know I could have made "better" choices. But I decided I would get what I want -- within reason, that didn't include the lobster nachos that looked amazing -- and make sure to really enjoy it.

Because that's what normal people do. They decide to eat out, they eat, and they move on.

Have you seen any changes in the people around you because of the changes you've made? Has anyone joined you in your journey, or have their changes been made unconsciously? Do you WISH someone would join you on your journey? Why?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 3/18/2010 9:24PM

    I loved seeing your post today since you have commented on mine when I shared my DH's wt loss and nutrition label reading and exercise....Your's may not have completely changed his stripes but it would seem as though you have influenced him and just like our own experiences, with each change he actually decides to make he is bound to find that it's a good thing and perhaps be ready for another change. Here's to being a good example!

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BESSHAILE 3/17/2010 1:33PM

    My husband, who used to be like the lions at the zoo - Just throw him some meat - has made enormous strides towards a more balanced way of eating - and lost a chunk of weight too. But when he's frustrated or feeling down he starts rooting around for red meat.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/17/2010 10:21AM

    Since it is their Lobsterfest promo, they do have a great deal for $19.99 with shrimp and lobster. Just FYI. Which is a good deal since it comes with veggie, salad, bread. You must have been writing about a male friend of mine in your blog, or do they share some common traits? Have a Happy St. Paddy's Day.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/17/2010 8:13AM

    Sounds like you have a very supportive hubby. He may never "convert" to your new lifestyle, but keep being the example and celebrate the little things. I am trying to "rub off" on my hubby too. I try alot of new recipes and my man loves to eat, so that is my way of sneaking in healthy stuff and he doesn't even know - heehee, our little secret. Keep up the good work.

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Why I have a chocolate stash

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why sould someone who is trying to lose weight keep sweets around when her achilles' heel is her sweet tooth?

There was a time I didn't. I bought into the fat free fad like most people, and my house was filled with rice cakes and fat free cookies. The sorts of things you either eat an entire sleeve of in one sitting, or you're hungry for more 5 seconds later.

The sorts of things that didn't really satisfy my sweet tooth.

And the problem was that I would eat everything else in the house because I was trying to deny myself the thing I really wanted -- because of course eating the thing I really wanted would make me fat.

So I have learned, over many years, that I need to have my chocolate stash. That by allowing myself to eat what I truly want, i am satisfied and I will eat less.

Of course, there are times, every once in a while, where having too many things in the house can get me into trouble. Never like it used to, just in eating more than I really planned to. Sometimes my hormones get the best of me.

For instance, I'd been very hungry the last few days (definitely hormonally driven). I did finally have a huge salad for a snack this weekend. It was satisfying, but I was having a hungry day and I was still hungry. But it made me feel good to just look at my huge bowl of food compared to my husband's little plate of a couple of eggs and a couple of slices of Canadian bacon.

Yesterday I'd planned on a salad as a snack again, but after a chilly walk with the dogs, it really wasn't what I craved. I chose hot chocolate and 2 vitabrownies instead. Thankfully, yesterday my appetite fell like a rock and I was totally satisfied for hours on that.

You've got to know yourself, as I write so often. You might have to totally ban chocolate right now. Or maybe you can only have it when you specifically go out and get it.

I just know for me, right now, if I don't have something on hand that will satisfy me, I'm more likely to eat around my craving -- which often leads to eating a whole lot more.

Do you have some sort of stash? What's in it? Or do you have to keep only "clean" food in your house? Have you ever eaten more than you wanted to because you were trying to deny yourself something you truly craved?

I know that I need to continue to try to tame my sweet tooth, and I do. It's something I work on all the time. And sometimes I've very successful, and other times I just need a little something.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 3/17/2010 1:34PM

    singin' my song, sweetie. singin' my song

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/16/2010 10:32AM

    Good morning! I did so well for a year, being completely off sugar. But that was because I had none in my house. The minute I started to do "just a little" and bring home this and that, I started an ongoing battle. So it is definitely easier for me to have sweet stuff out of here. Have a great day.

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SHEILA1505 3/16/2010 10:02AM

    I have a couple of those mini-dark-chox that friends give me from their cappuccino /latte /frappacino binges. One or two of those chox, or a handful of nuts gets me over the hump of a "craving" and also helps to put the numbers right if I am on the low side of fat or protein or fibre etc.

Confession time - if I have too many strips of licorice in the stash, then nothing stops me once I start ....

emoticonimagine those teeth full of black sticky licorice bits when I've been caught red-handed!

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KARBIE18 3/16/2010 7:27AM

    Absolutely, I have definitely eaten more, trying to avoid what I really want. I'm like you, most of the time eating small portions of those things work so much better than forbidding them. I do NOT have a stash, but that's because I haven't been shopping in a few weeks. I normally have some dark chocolate on hand.

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FITKAT2010 3/16/2010 6:34AM

    Being hypoglycemic and triggered by refined carbs and chocolate having a stash is a death sentence to my program. I can't eat just one of anything forbidden. And, I know it isn't a matter of attitude.

I also eat much more than you I'm sure. 95% from whole foods. Perhaps you aren't eating enough of the good stuff to sustain your activity level. Please check that out.

When we "go on a diet" we often starve ourselves to lose weight. Anything under 1800 calories for an active adult female in whole foods eating program IS indeed starvation.

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GOING2LSEITNOW 3/16/2010 5:44AM

    Sounds like your know your needs. emoticon

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Dessert Hummus

Monday, March 15, 2010

If you're an oatmeal cookie lover, you should definitely check out yesterday's blog. No, it's not a real cookie, but it tastes like one -- and it's nutritious!

But today we're talking about dessert hummus. Never heard of it? Neither had I, until I thumbed thru the latest issue of Clean Eating Magazine. There's a company that makes chocolate hummus. Now THAT caught my attention.

I raced right home and looked them up on the Web, but there isn't any place near me that carries it (only a few places in the Northeast, actually, so very limited range).

Yes, they will ship it. But I thought to myself surely there are recipes for it out there. There are recipes for almost everything out there. And here's a couple I found:


Yup, right here at Sparks.


Hannah Kaminsky wrote "My Sweet Vegan", and while some of the recipes were just ok, some are just fan-freakin'-tastic (like the whoopie pies).

At the moment I have a raw chocolate-hazelnut spread I made, so it will be a while before I try this. But you better believe that I will. I always love finding "healthy" chocolate recipes.

Do you think you'll be making chocolate hummus? What ways can you think of to use chocolate hummus? Any other dessert flavors of hummus come to mind? Had you ever even heard of dessert hummus?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 3/15/2010 4:14PM

    Imma gonna have to try this one, too.
I'm so hooked on food blogs lately!

I love www.happyherbivore.com and www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com the most right now. Vegan YumYum is also fabulous. :D

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/15/2010 10:34AM

    Sounds great. Let me know how it tastes. Have a fun day.

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SHEILA1505 3/15/2010 10:32AM

    I think I need to steer clear of it - two of my all-time favourites in one!! I'd probably inhale it as is. Do you think a teensy weensy little bit of chilli would be good?


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Breakfast "cookie"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

One problem about reading food blogs is that you come across stuff you want to try.right.now. Sometimes it's healthy; sometimes it ain't (thankfully I hang out on the healthier food blogs). And sometimes, I have to admit, it doesn't sound terribly appealing. Even if everyone is doing it.

Enter the breakfast "cookie". I've seen it around on several blogs, in several forms, and I nabbed the recipe from fitnessista.com/?p=178 .

And yesterday I tried it. I didn't actually have protein powder, so I used Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood, 1/3 cup oats, 2 tbsp soymilk, and added 1 tsp of chocolate chips. Then I added a little raw chocolate spread after heating it in my oven set to its lowest temp for about 20 minutes (oh, did I forget to mention that after you mix it up, without the chocolate sauce, you let it sit overnight in the fridge? Overnight oats or muesli, take your pick).

Well, there's a reason it's sweeping the blogosphere. In fact, excuse me for a minute, cause I got to go turn on the oven for today's bowl.

Ok, I'm back. Yes, it really was sort of like eating a bowl of warm oatmeal cookie (minus the sugar and the eggs and the flour). I liked it so much that I picked up a couple of packets of Jay Robb protein powder at Vitamin Shoppe (needed to get some stuff there anyway) to try it again this morning.

I'm not a big protein powder person. It secretly sort of amuses me that all these people who are so careful about what they eat have no problem at all with protein powders, which is certainly not something you can grow yourself or your grandma would be familiar with. But maybe I'll convert now.

Of course, it would be a lot healthier without the chocolate, but you know me. At least it's dark chocolate, and it's a small amount.

I'm not sure I've seen anyone else that heats it up, but truly, it's awesome that way. Still, it's meant to be a grab and go breakfast, so I suppose if you can't heat it it might still be good. Only this morning I'll be real glad to heat it, because while we changed the clocks, we completely forget about the electronic thermostats so it's a wee bit chilly here at the moment.

What recipe that sounded weird have you tried? Was it good? Was it a bomb? Speaking of bombs, there's this chocolate cherry smoothie that's been sweeping the blogosphere that I'm dying to try, only I can't find frozen cherries anywhere! What is the deal?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 3/14/2010 1:19PM

    Well, I'm TOTALLY going to be making that recipe, now.

YUM! I really like raw oatmeal so I'll bet I'd like this. And, I've got my new little sexy toaster oven so I could heat it up a bit really easily, too.


*edit* Had one this morning! Oats, PB, banana, almond milk ... no sweeteners or anything. Yummy yum yum. I want to make one with PUMPKIN and spices.

Comment edited on: 3/15/2010 4:10:56 PM

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BESSHAILE 3/14/2010 8:50AM

    you know, hon - chocolate is not really bad for you. It's a WHOLELOTTA chocolate that's bad for you.

Saw a little downward movement this week but if I want to wear that dress this summer I really have to get seriouser and seriouser.

Happy Chilly Sunday to you

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And speaking of salads . . .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

. . . I've decided to try out salads as a snack. I already know people who do this. Usually in the afternoon. But I'm contemplating it as a mid-morning snack. Mostly because I'm trying to get more "filling foods", as WW would call it, in earlier in the day.

Breakfast tends to be oatmeal or bagels & lox or waffle sandwiches here. I do the occasional savory breakfast, but I just don't usually crave them.

I've been trying to get back to green smoothies as a mid-morning snack, but I'm just not that into them right now. I need something to chew, I think.

Yesterday went quite well. Because I made sure to get lots of fruit & veggies in early in the day -- and that's what gave me this idea.

It may be old hat to you, but for me, it's an old dog learning new tricks. And the biggest trick, I think, is to make the salad interesting. And I'm pretty good at that.

So how bout you? What do you snack on midmorning? Or don't you snack? Do you snack on salads? What's your favorite salad combo?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEYRED221 3/13/2010 5:11PM

    Great idea - maybe I should try that. I do love salads but some days I do not get enough of those filling foods.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/13/2010 4:00PM

    I cut up carrots and celery and use them as snacks. They are filling and few calories. I also couple them with different types of hummus.

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PHEBESS 3/13/2010 1:50PM

    I always keep a bag of baby carrots in my fridge at school - wonderful to add to a lunch, or for a snack. I usually have apples, stuff for a low fat sandwich, and low-fat cheese also for snacks.

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ROCKYCPA 3/13/2010 12:45PM

    During the week, I have a salad for lunch every day unless I go out to lunch but then I usually order a salad. I don't usually have a morning snack but my afternoon snack is veggies - carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Your idea is great and really does work.

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MOUNTALUM 3/13/2010 10:01AM

    I love salads too. Often I find that if I eat one before dinner, I don't crave the dinner. My salad is enough. For a mid-morning snack I usually opt for yogurt or fruit. Fruit tends to make me hungry later, which works if lunch is my next meal.

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DRJJ2004 3/13/2010 9:52AM

    Normally in the winter I'm an oatmeal kind of gal..or an egg sandwich with laughing cow cheese and some kind of fruit.
Snacks are fruit..and I have a salad every day for lunch..I change it up every day of the week, so I don't get bored. I'll do McDonalds Southwest Salad, Arbys Farmhouse Roasted Chicken salad, Wendys Taco Salad or BK Chicken Salad. If I'm at home, I'll start with tons of lettuce and add a breaded chicken patty, or chicken or ham luncheon meat and then add craisins and feta. I love feta!!! Sometimes I add a very tiny amount of pecans..yummm!!! If I'm feeling in a cutting mood, I'll cut up carrots, or onions or celery to go with it. I think the best salad comes from Wings, etc. Their grilled chicken salad is awesome!! Having salad every day guarantees that I'll get my veggies in.
I've actually grown to look forward to them every day. :O)

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KARBIE18 3/13/2010 9:30AM

    I almost always have trail mix mid-morning. It's enough calories and protein to fill me up until lunch. I make sure to measure it, though, because otherwise.....you know.

I have a huge salad every workday for lunch. We have a pretty nice salad bar now (for a school cafeteria), and it's only two dollars. I fill the plate with greens then add, peppers, onions, green and black olives, then a little bit of egg and lowfat mozzarella. Then, since there's not much room left, I have one or two tablespoons of pasta salad, and whatever fruit there is that day. Finally, I have cottage cheese. I was trying to limit it to about a quarter cup, but I recently decided I needed more protein to reduce cravings in the afternoon. I need to bring some chicken every now and then to add, as well.

Anyway, in answer to your question, since I have a salad for lunch most days, I only eat them for snacks on the weekends, but usually only in the afternoon. I tend to have carb-type breakfasts also, so mid-morning, I need some protein. Hence the trail mix or other nuts.

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BE_STRONG 3/13/2010 8:58AM

    I will sometimes have a piece of friut and yogart, sometimes I have a fiber one bar, it all depends. I don't usually do a salad for a snack. Just not for me as a snack.

When I have a salad for lunch I'll really like feta cheese, chicken, and croutons. Sometimes I put craisins on it too.

Good luck.

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SHEILA1505 3/13/2010 6:00AM

    I usually have an easy breakfast like fruit and/or yogurt but if my Energy Buddy comes home with me after Gym, we have brunch of scrambled eggs with mushrooms and she is always surprised and amused when half the plate is full of salad leaves of every hue and piles of chopped up raw veg. It takes forever to munch our way thru this as we continue our chatter.

I had a wonderful salad a few weeks ago at a restaurant with a Swiss student/houseguest - I made a note of it - I'll go and find it

Pyramid of greens (including spinach, beet leaves, arugula &lettuce - curly and other, dandelion etc)
chunks of roasted Butternut
sundried tomatoes
Feta cheese
Caramelised onion rings
Baby beetroot
Butternut chips (crispy deep fried)
Curls of Parmesan cheese

I asked for spicy chicken pieces to be added and the dressing was simply a few slices of lemon to squeeze over it all.

They called it Brosio Salad.

Yum - my!

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