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Magic Grocery Shopping

Monday, May 21, 2012

Once a month I do my "big shopping" in a large grocery store. As I wander down the aisles I will sometimes see women with a look on their face that I recognize. It's because I used to have the very same look on my face several years ago. It's the "What product can I buy that will make my weight issues go away?" look. This look always occurs on the aisles where there is plenty of packaged food, most often near the cereal bars or in the cookie and cracker aisle. That's where I used to get that same look on my face, too.

I think as Americans (maybe people in other areas of the world too, I don't know. I've only ever lived here.)....... anyhow..... I think we have become conditioned to think that in packaging foods we have somehow made them better or improved on Mother Nature. I used to be looking to see if someone came up with something that was ultra-nutritious, low in calories, and low in fat, all while being ultra-delicious. Oh, and if that food also had some magical ability to make fat melt off my body, that would be even better.

What tickles me is that occasionally one of these lost-looking people will glance at my cart, as if trying to see if I have some secret ingredient. Of course, my cart looks pretty boring compared to the pretty packaged things on the shelves, so I don't capture their attention for long.

I often wish I could take the hand of those poor confused souls and lead them to the fresh produce section. Our next stop would be the meat counter, showing them how to select lean cuts (organic and fed what the animal is SUPPOSED to eat in nature, if they can afford it), then over to the dairy section to show them how to look for products that don't have added hormones or antibiotics, preferably also from animals fed what it is animals would naturally choose to eat in the wild. I'd like to teach them not to be afraid of fats from natural sources the way God made them, not the way we have changed them to be. Next we'd make a quick trip through the aisles for coconut and olive oils (coconut oil is more expensive, but for the little bit of baking I do it's a much healthier option and bakes up nicer, plus it handles heat on the stove better than olive oil), and the kind of nut butters that you have to keep in the fridge because the oil separates from the peanuts if you don't. Then I'd walk them through the bread section and show them what the ingredients list of baked products withOUT white flour in them looks like (it's tricky- companies have learned to be careful with how they word the ingredients list), and lastly through the frozen foods section where we would select unadorned frozen veggies, fruits (like berries, for smoothies), and fish to thaw quickly for healthy meals for their family. Most of the rest of the stuff in the frozen section we'd leave alone.

The fact is that there ARE magic ingredients, but we are so used to looking at them that we don't really see them anymore. Pass up the processed stuff. If a product looks NOTHING like the original ingredients it claims to have in it, it's been processed too much to be truly good for you anymore. It may not taste as good at first, but you and your family will get used to it and learn eventually to prefer the natural foods. God knew what He was doing when he made foods- He designed them to nourish our bodies. It's a little hard to improve on God.

We can't all afford to eat all clean all the time. I understand this. The things that have a longer shelf life are cheaper. I get it. But if you are looking for a magic bullet in a man-made food, you'll never find it. Buy healthy all you can afford to, and cook at home all you can (hint- your Crock Pot is your pal). Cooking at home more often will help offset the added cost of the higher grocery bill from the better foods.

You are building the little bodies of your kids to be healthy adults and you are taking care of your own body so that it will carry you well through life. Love your body with your choices- Choices that are as close to the way Mother Nature as you can. It's not an instant fix, but over time you will be glad you did.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/21/2012 10:32PM

    I have been blessed to always stumble upon the inspiration I need! I'm adding you as a friend and will be sure to read through your past blogs.

I want what YOU have and I'm going to work hard to get it!

¸.·*¨) ✫ ¸.·*¨) Thanks so much for
(¸.·´ .·´ ¸¸.·¨¯`·.✫
¸.·*¨) ✫ ¸.·*¨)✫ Spreading the Spark....
(¸.·´ .·´ (¸.·´¸¸.·¨¯`·.✫


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ILOVEJIM851991 6/19/2012 10:28PM

    Wow I'm definitely subscribing to your blog. You are my hero. I'm currently in progress to get where you are. I have a problem giving up decadent sweets. I know everything in moderation but even the small dairy queen shake when it was over 90 degrees today after getting a job after almost a year on unemployment seemed as indulgent. I'll have to say I did get the calories under control for the day though with only soup and a sandwich for dinner. But I just can't seem to get them under control. My weight is down about 20 pounds since the beginning of the year and I do have the start of the u in the tricepts but my abs are definitely hiding under a layer of fat. I need to get that down and I'll look great. Thanks for being my inspiration. emoticon emoticon

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K-GETTING-FIT 5/24/2012 1:56PM

    Great post. Was just thinking about this the other day as the boyfriend and I were shopping. Eliminating the majority of the inner aisle processed stuff makes shopping much easier. Yes, occasionally we buy some, but not that often. Been almost 3 months since we started and I never thought I would be where I am now, actually getting it!

We know what we like and how to buy. My food allergies force me to read labels and that is another reason to cut the processed junk out. We live in a quick fix society and I have to say I’ve been that person who would pay anything to have “health” now, would starve rather than deal with decisions. I always “knew” the secret was to eat clean and move my body, but something in a box seemed so much easier:) We have come to love the wonderful, clean taste of our food. We don’t need to cover natural foods up. The palate took a couple of weeks to adjust, but it does. Have learned that our “cheat” meals are rarely worth it and serve to teach us lessons about how we ate before. This coupon-loving couple is finding that it is actually proving to be cheaper. We free up a little for organic and make sure that at our weekly shopping visits we try something new (fruit, veggie, spice…) All this and we are still learning!!! It takes a bit to get in the groove, but you DO:)

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BROCKJUL 5/24/2012 10:18AM

    I am still working my way through this aspect of healthy eating. I used to be one of those "moms" who bought all pre-packaged processed foods, especially junk food. Now I rarely buy chips, cookies, ice cream or any tastey treats that my kids are starting to miss less and less. My counters and cupboards are no longer filled with bags of chips or boxes of cereal bars, instead we have fresh fruit and homemade trail mixes. I'm not completely rid of all packaged food (frozen pizza is still a weakness) but the transformation so far has been huge and I am working my way to a complete transformation.
Julie

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CICI510 5/22/2012 12:50PM

    You are so right! I have started to cook at home more and even though I am slowly working my way away from the processed foods (weaning my family off I should say) its better than fast food and before I know it we'll be a clean family!! ;)

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SUSIQZER 5/22/2012 7:09AM

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who checks out other people's grocery carts!

I feel the same way... I'll look at my cart -- full of veggies, lean meats, healthy dairy, etc -- and compare to other shoppers. I have to resist the urge to tell them to put the junk back on the shelf and head over to the produce section!!



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IRP1114 5/21/2012 11:45PM

    So true. Cooking at home makes room in the budget for those organic products that are worth paying for over conventional where it matters and definitely over takeout or packaged foods!!!

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ROCKMAN6797 5/21/2012 11:20PM

    Another awesome blog!
I use to live on those inner aisles, searching for those magical items that would help me lose weight, be easy to cook, and taste good. However, since I have started this journey over 2 years ago I now live on the outside aisles of my local grocery store. I especially load my cart with veggies and fruits. These are my magic food products!
You know I am friends with many successful weight losers on SP and I have noticed that we all share some common characteristics. We choose to eat natural products, we move on a daily basis, and, in general, we are determined. As you so eloquently stated, we choose to love our body with our choices!
Thank you for stating it with simplicity!

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The Evolvement of Moderation

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I have heard a lot of people say that a life of moderation is key in keeping balance between real life and fitness. I completely agree, but I've come to find that my view of moderation has had to change as my fitness journey has progressed. What used to be moderate for me would now be considered excess.

The changes in what I considered "moderate" happened gradually as I progressed. I'd stall and realize I had to take an honest look at what I was doing, then figure out what must change to get closer to my goal. This usually involved giving something up. (Okay, I was "substituting" one thing for a healthier option most of the time, but the fact is that I had to give one thing up in order to substitute it with another.) My definition of "moderation" had to change once again.

It's a natural process that you will have to go through, too, as you get more fit.

When I started my journey to weight loss at almost 200 pounds, a small serving of dessert every day was moderation. I have found that at my maintenance weight a serving of dessert perhaps every week or two is now moderation. At the beginning of my weight-loss I could eat almost every food I'd eaten before I was trying to lose weight, just in controlled amounts. Now I have had to abandon many of those foods on all but a the very rare occasion to maintain the health I have worked so hard to achieve. This has been hard for me to accept, but I have had to wrap my head around the fact that if I do what I used to do, I'll look like I used to look. Worse yet, I'll be as unhealthy as I used to be. Not cool.

I miss ice-cream with magic shell. I miss baking several times a week and eating it, to include sampling the dough/batter/frosting. I miss my Chili Dog Pie recipe and my Grandma's biscuits. I really do. But if I continue to indulge in these things regularly I won't be able to maintain my current level of health.

I guess I've decided that I'd rather live a longer life enjoying these foods hardly ever than live a shorter life eating them as often as I'd like.

It's your call. It's your body. It's your life. I'm not judging you. But if you want to continue to see the fat come off and/or the muscle come on, you are going to have to adjust your definition of "moderation" as you progress. I'm sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news...... I didn't make this rule up.... It's just the way it is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 5/16/2012 3:41PM

    Excellent blog!
I, too, miss so many of the foods I ate when I was obese but those foods were the reason for me being in the state I was. I have accepted this. I will indulge in these foods every blue moon but I have come to realize that if I wish to continue on my weight loss journey I have to eat healthy. Quite honestly I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished and relish in the fact that I still can achieve more! I am taking my body to a point that I have never dreamed of and I love it! I love to pay this thinking forward but I realize that not everybody thinks like me. I will encourage but I won't push. I save all of the pushing for me!
Thank you so much for your thoughts, they are thought-provoking!

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TERRIMMIX 5/16/2012 9:58AM

    Sad but true. I'm having a hard time getting my calorie range where it needs to be because my metabolism is so slow and broken. It's probably actually less than the Sparkpeople recommended range, but I'm experimenting to find the sweet spot.

The upside though is that when you do have that occasional treat or those baked goodies you will truly savor them and appreciate them as something very rare and special.

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CARENMARLA 5/16/2012 8:20AM

    I totally related to this. My "moderation" changed as I lost weight and got older. In my 30's I could eat "moderate" amounts of bread, rice, pizza and pasta and still lose weight. Now, in my mid 50's, fruits and vegetables are my main carb source. I can easily get over 50% of my calories from these without eating anything processed. I also have to exercise more vigorously to maintain my weight than I did 20+ years ago. .

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BERRY4 5/16/2012 1:31AM

    Guess this is part of the journey... Thanks for putting it out there, and confirming what I've been coming to a SLOW understanding of.
-- It probably explains why I added 12#'s back on after coming w/ in 5#'s of goal weight. I didn't realize that what I was doing in moderation needed to significantly CHANGE.

Less is now more. Still adjusting. Still in process!
Thanks for making the point! emoticon

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HDHAWK 5/15/2012 5:09PM

    I completely agree Nancy. The longer we're on the fitness journey, the more things change as we go along. We gain more knowledge and learn what we can live with.

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HISARTIST 5/15/2012 1:21PM

    Amen. The hardest thing I've had to come to grips with is that I HAVE TO delete the carbs, especially the breads and deserts...even in "moderation". I've learned that my body can function fine on less carbs and higher (healthy) fats, and if I want to keep the level of fitness I've gained (and the look), or for that matter push it further, I HAVE GOT TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS STUFF!!! Sad thing is that although I've figured this out for me, most of the people in my life haven't, or don't care about how these things impact me and it can make for some very challenging times (like family outings or visits to the parent's house). I know my willpower stinks, so I've chosen to keep these things out of my house. My new norm. Anywho, I'm glad that you have shown me that I am not the only one who has had to make these changes, and I'm also thankful that I have you as an example of the fact that it can be done, and that you can reach your goals...you just have to learn about the "new" you. Thanks for this blog!! Just what I needed to read right now!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 5/15/2012 1:03PM

    I have definitely had to change what I would consider moderation along the way. It's so worth it though to see your body change for the better.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 5/15/2012 12:53PM

    YES! I completely agree. What I considered 'moderation' before losing almost 100 lbs I'd consider excess now as my body honestly needs fewer calories to even function. As well, like you said, I won't be able to maintain my current fitness level/weight loss if I indulge in treats on a regular basis anymore.

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Video Blog Link- How I came up with my latest workout split.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Warning: This is longer than I typically like my vlogs to be and a lot of info.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzJU7_YFTnk&
feature=g-upl&context=G21953c4AUAAAAAA
AAAA

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 5/15/2012 1:37PM

    Love your blogs! Great info. I like the way you switch up the mags workout suggestions. Thank you for sharing your new plan. Can't wait to hear how you come up with the next one when the 8 weeks are up!

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K-GETTING-FIT 5/4/2012 11:15AM

    I love, love, love your vlogs! Just stumbled across them and bookmarked your YouTube vids. Great information and inspiring for a relative newbie. Thank you for sharing and wish you continued success!

Have a great weekend!
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ROCKMAN6797 4/4/2012 2:41PM

    A ton of good information! Your explanation of your thought process has provided me a starting point to incorporate more splits into my current weight lifting program. I agree that the idea of varying the splits is a good way to battle repetition and fire up different muscle groups.
Thank you of sharing!

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DIVEGODDESS 4/2/2012 8:23PM

    Great info!

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CICI510 4/1/2012 2:41PM

    Awesome! Very informative. :)

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Video Blog Link: Designing a Workout Split, part 2

Monday, March 26, 2012

Again, please tell me what you think:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRmbpZIkrOE

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

K-GETTING-FIT 6/9/2012 8:01PM

    This was awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing:) Just finished a round of LiveFit and want to take a break and kind of do my own thing before trying another round and have had a heck of a time figuring out how to split it up. Felt really lost. Difficult when you have been following another plan that was designed and you simply follow. Remembered you and your blogs/vlogs and wow. What a tremendous help.
Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of the weekend and week ahead. Time for me to get my notebook out and plan:)
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IMKELRAE 3/28/2012 10:48PM

    Thank you for explaining what "push" and "pull" meant. I was so confused before but now it all makes sense to me. I keep thinking about what you said in this vlog when I'm in the gym and now I'm deliberate in my workouts. I never realized that I needed to work my large muscle groups first so I don't tire out my supporting groups before it's their time to shine (e.g. triceps, biceps). Please keep up the posts and blogs.
p.s. your arms rock!!
Kelley


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ROCKMAN6797 3/26/2012 11:25PM

    Wow, a wealth of information. One question, how much time do you spend for each muscle group? Does one involve more time than the other? Thank you.

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IMKELRAE 3/26/2012 10:34PM

    I've heard people say to work upper and lower separately. Is there any harm in doing quads and a large major upper body part in the same session? I'll be watching this one again. There was a lot to absorb. I like it though :-)
Kelley

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Video Blog Link: General Rules for Setting Up Your Own Lifting Program

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is part 1 of a 3-part series:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=06RM2KRUf3s&
feature=g-upl&context=G244bb8bAUAAAAAA
ACAA


I'd love to know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 3/26/2012 11:11PM

    Thanks for the information, I definitely am going to have to read those past blogs!

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DIVEGODDESS 3/25/2012 11:37PM

    As usual, great blog!! emoticon

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IMKELRAE 3/24/2012 9:11PM

    Nancy,
You're a wealth of knowledge! I learn so much from you and it's nice to hear these things from another woman who might not "love" all the exercises but who understands their importance. Keep putting up the vlogs, and I'll keep watching.
Thank you!
Kelley
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BOB240 3/24/2012 8:38PM

    A good well presented video.

IMO, for people at SP, talking about splits is too advanced and many here simply don't have the core strength to use a split effectively. I would do something different (in fact I did if you read the early part of my blogg).
Keep it simple

Three days a week do

1] Bench
2] Deadlift
3] Bench press

warm up with 8 reps then up the weight to about 90% of your capability and do 3x5.
There is sense in emphasizing progressive overload.i.e aim to increase weights/reps each session.

This is all you need. Forget the small arm exercises they are close to pointless in the early stages.

As ever.. form..form..form....

The cardio warm up idea is interesting, I must admit I do cardio first. However that means that only me and you do this. All other lifters in the universe, lift then do cardio...


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SCOUTMOM715 3/24/2012 7:34PM

    Thanks Nancy, I learn so much from you. I really appreciate all the info you provide. Have a great weekend! emoticon

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