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The Great Weigh-In Debate

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do you ever struggle with how often you should weigh yourself? I've seen rather heated discussions on the subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion. It can get confusing.

Personally? I don't think there is one answer for everyone. I think this has more to do with your own personality than anything else. And, to a lesser degree, your goals.

If you are someone who needs constant accountability to keep your head in the game, daily weighing is what I would suggest. Knowing that you have to face the scale every morning might help you to stay on-track during the day.

On the other hand, if you are someone who gets discouraged with the daily (normal) fluctuations in scale weight, a weekly or bi-weekly weigh-in might be better for you.

And some people do better if they just don't get on a scale at all and instead focus on the changes in how clothes fit, measurements, and how they look in the mirror. Which are actually more accurate, albeit slower, gauges, anyhow.

Then there is the factor of goals. Weight loss is a completely different mindset than maintenance. You might decide you need to weigh more or less often, depending on where your head is in your current journey. Personally, I do best during maintenance when I weigh daily. But that's me. Some people are better at letting it go entirely or just jumping on a scale every once in a while to make sure they are still on target.

Now let's consider the goal of muscle gain. When I start with a new client, I ask them to step away from the scale, if at all possible. This is because, for reasons unknown to me, often the scale weight will change very little while the body shape changes fairly rapidly once intense resistance training is introduced. If someone is focusing on the scale it makes it very hard for them to acknowledge the physical changes taking place in their body.

Likewise, if you are working with a trainer who wants you to weigh in at certain intervals, that is what you need to do. Don't jack with their program! (I did a blog by [almost] that title here: itallmakesadifference.blogspot.com/2
012/12/dont-jack-with-your-program.html
)

There is so much more to your fitness than a number on the scale!

And lastly, however often you decide to weigh, strive to do it at the same time of day, in the same amount of dress, having eaten (or not eaten) the same number of meals before hand. The most accurate time to weigh is first thing in the morning, after you have used the restroom and buck naked. But even then, there are fluctuations, so don't let a gain of a pound or two ruin your day. Just make note of it, keep doing the right thing, and weigh at the next scheduled weigh date. The most important thing is that the overall trend is downward.

And don't let someone else's opinion of how often you should weigh guilt you or have you second-guessing what is right for you. We are all individuals. Do what works for you, and respect what others say works for them. It's a big fitness world and there is room for all of our differences.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 4/12/2013 11:36PM

    I personally find daily weigh-ins to be very useful in maintenance because they keep me focused on my long-term goal of not wanting to change all that much. I actually found weekly weigh-ins to be much more stressful from a psychological point of view as I was losing weight because I was never really sure what to expect and would sometimes take extreme measures to ensure my weigh ins were low (you've heard some of the things boxers and wrestlers do to "make weight"--that's what I was like). Daily weigh-ins keep me much more attuned to what's going on with my body and once I wrapped my head around the daily fluctuation thing, I managed to take the emotion out of them. Now I just use them to back up what I'm doing on a day-to-day basis and to look at longer-term trends. If the scale's up for a few days and I know I don't deserve it, no big deal. If it's up after a big meal, I hop on each day after to make sure things keep going back down. If it stays up and continues to go up, I know I'm doing something wrong and it's time to make some changes.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2013 11:36:28 PM

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LIZZYP609 4/12/2013 10:24AM

    I don't have much to lose (5lbs). I do the NSV more than what the scale says. I want to tone more than lose right now (just starting this phase).
I do jump on the scale 3-4 times a week but mainly just out of curiosity than anything else.
I do post weekly weigh-in here on spark.
I was thinking that maybe I would record everyday weigh-ins just to see how much I can fluctuate in a month at this stage of the game.

I myself have not let the scale determine my mood in a very long time. It is just a tool to me, one that keeps me on this road just as my food scale and eating plan do.

Thanks for this blog! Great conversation!

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MRSBAGLADY 4/11/2013 12:52PM

    I have so much to lose!!!! am at the start, so I tend to weigh in daily to check if my changes in clean eating and exercise are really working or is there something physically impairing me to shed the pounds. I try so hard to stay away from the scale, but it calls out my name every morning... I try to gage the changes in my clothes and how I sleep at night...... I have expierenced such horrible effects of being over weight that the pounds do not seem to leave me as fast I wish they would. There have been days when the scale does not move and I tell my self KEEP GOING BECAUSE YOUR HEADED ON THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!!! I JUST WORKOUT HARDER.... I need to beat this and thats all that keeps me motivated... I need to be able to walk Disney World and not feel like am about to pass out, I want to fit in the chairs in the plane, I want to run and not get a black eye, I want to be able to get in and out my car without feeling faint, I want to be healthy and fit. My advise to the skinny me one day would be "NEVER STOP TRYING" there will be days that the scale wont move but you keep being focused and you will reach your GOAL" emoticon

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REALRADIANT1 4/11/2013 12:31PM

    Love your blogs.

I like to weigh every day, first thing in the morning. The daily fluctuations don't bother me at all. That's just what human bodies do. I'm patient with my progress when the scale is fluctuating back up, but I love it when it shows a new low. I mark my weight on the calendar and record it in Sparkpeople. I like seeing that my weight is definitely on a downward trend and that I don't lose weight in a straight line. I like seeing the squiggly downward line, that is just reality.

The scale no longer tells me what kind of day I'm going to have. It's just a tool, it's just a reality check. I have healed my relationship with the scale and that feels great.

I often periodically get my bodyfat tested using one of those water dunking tanks.

The last time I had it done, I had gone from 33% body fat to 24% body fat and I had gained 4 pounds of muscle. I'll have that done again in a few months.

You are totally right about weighing yourself being a individual thing. I have several friends that are only comfortable weighing in larger intervals. One doesn't like to weigh herself at all because the scale totally triggers her, no matter what it says. One friend weighs only once a week, and one friend weighs only once a month. It's definitely an individual preference.

I also started using a bodymedia fit tracker and I love it. I track my food in spark people as well. My goal is to have an average of a 1000 calorie deficit each day, which I have been doing pretty easily. Scientifically speaking, that is supposed to give me a weight loss of 2 pounds per week, but I've been losing about 1.1 pounds a week. I've always known that I have a slow metabolism. Now I have proof.

However, I have just accepted that as my reality. It will just take me longer to get to goal weight, but I'm ok with that.

Comment edited on: 4/11/2013 12:35:27 PM

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MONGO2TEN 4/11/2013 5:59AM

    I do weigh daily, but probably should cut that back to once a week. The scale can fluctuate a lot.

Thanks for the blog and insight.

~Nancy

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AMARANTHA120S 4/11/2013 5:26AM

    Great blog. ITA, it is an individual choice. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 4/11/2013 12:32AM

    Excellent blog....I weigh myself daily in the morning but only rely on one day for my "official" weigh-in day. Fortunately I am not the least bothered by weight fluctuations rather I use these daily weigh-ins to figure out what I can do better in the future and what works.

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VHALKYRIE 4/10/2013 10:20PM

    Great blog! I'm in the process of trying to change my body composition, and my scale numbers go wonky. I am at the point where I can ignore the weight going up because that's going to happen as I swap things around, but I consider this black belt level! It took me a long time to get comfortable with how my body metabolism works.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/10/2013 9:05PM

    Good blog.

I'm a numbers geek, so i weigh every day, I use a heart rate monitor for cardio and ST, I dig my little bodymedia armband, I track miles with my garmin GPS on the bike, I log every weight for every rep for every set of every lift on my iPhone.

I'm just waiting for someone to invent a wi-fi receiver for my brain to just gonculate all the numbers!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 4/10/2013 6:40PM

    Love this! So true. Thanks for sharing.

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TERRIH8118 4/10/2013 4:47PM

    emoticon emoticon Great blog. Its very true we all have different ways of doing it. Myself, I weigh in once a week any more than that and I feel horrible. However. I do try to focus on the nsv that I see.

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RUSSELL1960 4/10/2013 1:48PM

    I find it helpful to have multiple tracking statistics. I do weigh in daily while also keeping a long-term record on the Spark People weight tracker. I also keep measurements of my waist, neck, arm and thigh. This combination enables me to get the benefit of the daily weigh in but keep strongly motivated by the long-term progress. The advantage of the daily weigh-in for me has been learning about what causes the daily fluctuations. For example, I thought I had found the perfect snack with only 20 calories, Kimchee. But I experienced significant weight gain the next day. I later figured it out that the brand of Kimchee I had bought had nearly 1000mg of salt in the two serving size snack I was enjoying. Thus I learned to watch the salt content more carefully. For me this has been helpful but I agree that each person will find the combination and scheduling of tracking that works best for them.

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PMRUNNER 4/10/2013 12:38PM

    Well said!

Weight is one of many measurements that are used to paint the picture of ones health. The scale is a tool. If you can look at the results objectively as a feedback to how you are progressing, than you can weigh daily or weekly or whatever floats your boat. If your emotional state is tied to the number on the scale, then it is not a safe tool to use on a daily basis. In that case, you should probably stick to a routine where you weigh less often, perhaps weekly or monthly and you weigh in conjunction with other measurements such as BF%, waist, hips, thigh, arm, neck. Then you can get a better assessment of your progress (or lack of progress) than your scale can provide.

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ELIZABETH5268 4/10/2013 12:10PM

    Great blog, some people focus so much on the scale that they miss great milestones along the way!

I was very focused on the scale until I was pretty close to my goal weight. The closer I got the less concerned I was and my focus shifted to the reflection in the mirror, measurements and most importantly the clothes I was fitting abck into. Now that I'm at my goal weight it's pretty much all about my tone that I can visibly see.

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RHONDALYN10 4/10/2013 12:09PM

    Thanks for the reminder!
I weigh myself once a week - same day, first thing in the morning, buck naked. I have learned to understand the fluctuations over time as I would get frustrated with the yo-yo of a couple of lbs. What I have learned is that after a long run on Fri or a HM on a Sat, my weekly weigh in will almost always be up 1-2 lbs. What used to upset me is now a fact of life. And now that I am more focused on ST and changing my body I really don't let the scale get to me at all.
Thanks for the continued great advice.

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TERRIMMIX 4/10/2013 11:00AM

    This blog was right on time for me Nancy. Thanks so much. I've decided to take a break from weighing and focus on tracking and fitness goals instead for a while. I will weigh again June 21st, the summer solstice.

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CATHYHASSPARK 4/10/2013 10:43AM

    its different for everyone, for myself personally , I can only weigh once a week because if I do more than that I become obsessed with the scale , and I know that weight flucates every minute it seems!! I dont think there is any right or wrong way , its all how you handle it.

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 4/10/2013 10:38AM

    Personally, for me, I can't be dictated by the scale. Mentally, it REALLY affects my psyche! I still need to grow so that it doesn't have this kind of effect, but until then, I try only to weigh once a week.

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LJCANNON 4/10/2013 10:32AM

    emoticon "There Is So Much More To Your Fitness Than A Number On The Scale."

That is SO True, and Mentally I Know IT!! And I do Understand Intellectually that Weight Training will probably result in at least a temporary Weight Gain. I have learned to -- Mostly! -- look for Trends and not let the daily fluctuations bother me. I try to only weigh 3 - 4 times a week, NOT Daily.

emoticon However, I think there is a part of me that is afraid that a few Bad Choices, or Not Checking the Scale Frequently will lead to a Total Regain of All That I have lost. I know that is unlikely, and I hope that the Fear fades after I get used to being at This Weight.

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Gym Judgements

Monday, March 11, 2013

I've heard so many people who are not where they want to be in their fitness journey worry about what others in the gym will think about them. I get this- I have been not fit and afraid to go to the gym, not fit and going to the gym, fit going to the gym, and a trainer who works IN the gym. Basically, all sides of the equation.

And so, based on not only my own personal experience but from what I have polled other people of all categories, here is what people of various points in their fitness journeys are thinking when they see a very overweight and out of shape person in the gym:

- The person not fit and afraid to go to the gym sees you walking into the gym and is envious that you have the guts to go in there. As a bonus, you may have unwittingly inspired them to try it, too.

- The person not-fit and going to the gym is thinking the same thing you are, of course. Which is something along the lines of "Oh, look! Someone like me!". You help to make them feel like they belong.

- The fit person going to the gym... well.... no offense, but they aren't thinking about you much at all. They actually are so focused on and/or worn out from their own workout that they don't have the energy to think of you. Their primary thought is "Dear God, please let me survive this workout." But if they do have a fleeting thought about you it is "Good for them! They are just where they need to be!"

- And the Personal Trainers in the gym are thinking several things, depending on their situation. If they are with a client they probably aren't paying any attention to you- They are focused on their client. If they aren't with a client, they are thinking the same thing the fit person working out in the gym is thinking- That you are just where you need to be, although probably with a bit more pride in you being there, since Trainers are schooled in how hard it is for someone who is not in stellar shape to even get themselves through the door.

Another thing the trainer might be thinking is that they wish you would ask them for help if you have a quick question. The fact is that we see people execute a lot of moves incorrectly and so very want to straiten them out, but we don't. This is because we have learned that 9 times out of 10 people don't appreciate it and look at us as judgmental, even though we were truly trying to help. So we learn to bite our tongues and wish that someone would ask "If you have a minute, could you please show me how to do this?". Just don't ask us when we are with a client- They are paying for us to pay 100% attention to them.

It's your workout, it's your business. Do it because it is good for you, not because of what anyone else thinks. Odds are it's not nearly as bad as you are imagining, anyhow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VISUALLYRICS 4/28/2013 9:11AM

    Lol! You summed it up so well. emoticon Blog! ..::: and emoticon on your own personal progress!

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MRSBAGLADY 4/12/2013 9:14PM

    Wow you are so right... I have avioded the gym so many times because I say "iam to fat for the gym" I have actually tried to lose weight before joining the gym, but all I did was gain more weight sitting on the coach dreaming of how great it would be to get my butt at the gym and lose the weight.. I have watched the biggest loser while eating cookie dough, trust me its true. My husband is in great shape and he always motivates me and tries to help me, but for a long time a did not listen (Not sure why, hope to someday find out why). 4 weeks ago I finaly had the courage to enter the gym and hiding from the mirrors of course I made my way onto the treadmill and wished for the best. Iam on week 4 and 16 pounds lighter and loving it... emoticon

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ORCHIDLADY56 4/6/2013 11:15AM

    I am a little behind reading this, but glad I did. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.

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KARENE10 3/16/2013 11:00AM

    Great blog!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/14/2013 10:11PM

    Real good blog, encouraging too.

I've been hard at it in the weight room for about 3 years. Most of the regulars are too involved and focused on getting their workouts in to think snide thoughts about others.....unless of course you do barbell curls in the squat rack!

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THECRAZYMANGO 3/14/2013 12:43PM

    LOVE THIS!! I can totally relate to all of these stops in the journey! Nicely worded! emoticon

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CHANTENAY 3/11/2013 10:05PM

    I know when I see people at the gym who are more out of shape than myself, I am secretly proud of them. They are doing the right thing and are where they should be. At the same time, I am embarassed about myself...

It's tough to get over but it can be done - by going ahead and doing it.

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1EMMA2011 3/11/2013 7:04PM

    emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 3/11/2013 4:41PM

    What I love most is seeing that same overweight person coming back day after day and actually getting smaller and, at the same time, stronger before my very eyes! I love watching people succeed!

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NGREGOR 3/11/2013 2:54PM

  NancyAnne, did you know there was once a 8" doll named The Nancy Anne Storybook Doll? Seeing your name reminded me of that long ago time.
Anyway... I agree, nobody cares if you are there or not and no body is all that much greater than mine (although I am 5'4 & 190lbs). At my ctr I see pro football and basketball players sweating up a storm. I see athlete wanna-bes with bulging muscles. I see women in their spandex "work-out" clothes that look model thin. Big deal. Those people are either fanatics who may not be as healthy as they look or they are in a competitive situation and don't want to lose their position be it on a team or with their current significant other. The real people at the gym/fitness ctr are fun to talk to and are there for the same reasons I am: to be healthier, move better, and maybe lose a little wt while they're at it.
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PIXIECUTE 3/11/2013 2:45PM

    This was just what I needed to hear - thanks for the blog!

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Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #3- My Rice Cooker

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I really suck at making brown rice on the stove. White rice? I'm a pro. But Brown rice? The long-cook kind? Just about every time it comes out crunchy.

I knew about rice cookers (Who doesn't know about rice cookers?), but I thought it would wind up being just another appliance that was more trouble than it was worth and after two frustrating attempts it'd wind up in a garage sale. That is, until I posted another whiney status update on Facebook saying that I, once again, broke the brown rice. That prompted someone (may have been Carolyn, who told me to suck it up and get a coffee grinder for my flaxseed: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5260240
) to tell me that rice cookers do a great job at making brown rice the way it should be (non-crunchy), and that they aren't hard to use OR hard to clean, which were my biggest concerns.

So I asked for a rice cooker for my birthday, and my husband gave me one. I told him to please not get me the kind that vacuums the carpets and does taxes. I just wanted the most basic model possible, because I never use the extra stuff on appliances. He was obedient and got me the basic model by Aroma:



It comes with a steamer insert thingy, so that you can cook veggies on top (It has yet to be put into action. See? I don't use extra stuff), and a measuring cup. The inside is non-stick and the inside of the top of the lid pops off for super-easy cleanup:



The process for making rice with this thing couldn't be simpler- Toss the rice and water in there, close the lid down tight, plug it in, and turn it on. It somehow senses when the rice is done and moves it to the "keep warm" setting for several hours. No watching for water to boil, cleaning up of boil-overs on my stove, or scrubbing burnt rice of of the bottom of a pan because I accidentally cooked it too long. Additionally, I can set it off to the side and all my burners are still free for anything else I might be cooking. As an added bonus, it's ready in about half the time it takes to make rice on the stove.

The ratio of water to rice are different for brown rice than white, so I still have to look it up in the manual each time I use it, but let me tell ya something; this thing couldn't be easier to use. And the rice has never once turned out anything other than wonderful! Sometimes I use chicken broth instead of water, for some extra flavor. I almost always cook up more than we need and store the leftover in the fridge to use as a healthy carb over the next few days. (Did you know that cold brown rice makes a wonderful addition to salads?)

As is always the case, though, I started thinking: I usually have oatmeal for breakfast, which I cook in my Micro Steamer (blogged about it here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4305785
). But I've wanted to try steel cut oats. The thing is, they take so blessed long to cook that I only tried them once. I'm just too hungry in the mornings to wait that long to eat, plus I had to keep stirring them because they threatened to burn to the bottom of my pot. Since the cooking method for steel-cut oats is very similar to rice, I started wondering if I could cook them in the rice cooker. I did a quick Google search and, sure enough, you can. One part oats and three parts water, but don't fill the cooker more than half full, because oats like to foam up when they cook. This is REALLY cool, because I can jump out of bed, dump the oats and water in the rice cooker, then run off to the bedroom to make the bed, brush my teeth, and do my normal morning "stuff". When I get to the kitchen, the oats are pretty much done. I just give them a quick stir because there is water on top, then close the lid back down and let it absorb a bit while I get my vitamins together, feed the dog, and make my eggs or mix up a protein shake.

So there 'ya have it- My third and final gadget blog. (To link my first one, click here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5258932
The link to the second one is above in the coffee grinder link.) Useful things I use regularly and make my life a lot easier AND healthier. Let me know what you think! (And tell me what you use YOUR rice cooker for- I'm always looking for new ideas!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 3/6/2013 8:38PM

    Glad you are enjoying your rice cooker!

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IRP1114 2/25/2013 12:16PM

    Cool : )! Those are good uses for a rice cooker! You know what I like to do with my oats since I use a combo of rolled oats steel cut and red oats for my morning oats, I pre measure and put it in my little pot with the water and leave it on the stove to soak over night so it cooks up really quick in the mornings : )!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/24/2013 8:47AM

    Another helpful blog! I don't have one of these.
I am guessing you are still eating rice after that stuff about it having arsenic in it....something like that anyway. What was your take on that?

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RHONDALYN10 2/23/2013 4:15PM

    OMG - I am LOVING these blogs!! I have been wanting a rice cooker for awhile and now that I know you can do steel cut oats in it as well - I am sold!! I, too, have been wanting to add them to my diet but like you - I don't have the time in the morning.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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ROCKMAN6797 2/23/2013 2:47PM

    Another wonderful blog about a cool appliance. I love steel cut oatmeal but I don't mind waiting but it is good to know that there is a quicker method if I ever start getting impatient!

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SOTIREDOFTHIS 2/23/2013 2:41PM

  Thank you for this! I just googled aroma and found it at Walmart and Target......this will possibly be my next purchase!

Keep 'em coming!



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Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #2- Mini Coffee Grinder

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yep. I said coffee grinder. And it's all Carolyn's fault.

My friend Carolyn, of Fabulous Fitness fame, read me whining one day about having to buy ground flaxseeds in such large quantity that I feared they were losing their nutrients before I could use them. See, flaxseeds are wonderful little nutritional powerhouses, but you can't get absorb their nutrients in the whole form. They have to be ground. Here's where the problem comes in: They start to lose their nutrients fairly quickly (within a week or two after grinding). A bag of ground flaxseeds lasts a VERY long time when you are only using a tablespoon most days.

So I whined about it, and Carolyn told me to get one of those mini coffee grinders to grind them as I use them. She said it cost about ten dollars at WalMart. Go get one, already, and stop your whining! (Okay, she didn't say it JUST like that, but it makes for a more interesting story.)

Anyhow, I went to WalMart and got one, and Carolyn was wrong: It wasn't ten dollars- It was thirteen. (Carolyn- you own me three bucks.)


Anyway, I took it home, read the directions (yes, I am one of THOSE people), dropped some whole flaxseed into it that I purchased in the bulk section at United Market Street for about sixty-eight cents (I wasn't going to buy a whole bag just to find out it didn't work), pressed the little button and..... viola! Ground flaxseed, nutrients intact. That was pretty cool! (Can you tell I am easily amused?)

The only caveat is that once you start grinding flaxseeds with the coffee grinder, you do NOT want to grind coffee with it. Or so I've heard. The microscopic bits of flaxseed kinda cling to the inside of the grinder. It's very hard to clean completely. I'm going to make a guess that flax coffee is probably not so tasty.

So me and my little coffee grinder lived in harmony with the flaxseeds. Then one day I started hearing about oat flour. And then I found a recipe I wanted to try with oat flour in it. (Chocolate PB Protein Brownies by Julie Lohre: teamfitbody.com/699/ ) I didn't want to buy an entire container of oat flour for a recipe that calls for just a cup. So I started thinking.... and Googling (what DID we do before Google?)........

Upon investigation, I found out that oat flour is simply finely ground oatmeal. The recommendation was to grind it in a blender. This sounded dusty to me. I hate dust. And then my eye fell on my little coffee grinder. I thought "I wonder?", and dropped some oats in there. A whirl or two later, and I found myself staring in amazement at oat flour! And, to make matters better, when I poured the oat flour out of the grinder, the thing was clean as a whistle. Double benefit. Yay!

The recipe was good, by the way, but, of course, I altered it to my own taste. Here's a link to my version: allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/634901
63/chocolate-pb-protein-brownies/detai
l.aspx


And there you have it- More information than you ever wanted about mini coffee grinders. But if you are a flaxseed eater, I'd highly recommend one. Cheap, easy, and takes up almost no space. How much better does a gadget get?

For Gadget Blog #1, click here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5258932

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 2/25/2013 12:04PM

    Can't wait to try that recipe! Thanks for sharing : )!

This is exactly what I mainly use my little grinder for! I use it every morning and sometimes two or three times for flax seeds in the morning. I put them in hubby's oatmeal and in mine and in the boys smoothies! I also grind oats for baking and add it along with flax seeds to pancake mixes.

You are right about the coffee. Once hubby's coffee grinder broke an we were using mine for his coffee beans and it was a pain to clean all the beans out before being able to use it for the flax again!

By the way what they say about how much healthier you get from eating flax regularly is so true. Thanks to them and other healthy whole foods of course, and being active, my hubby actually qualified for the elite rate for his life insurance! We will save an additional $20 a month for 20 yrs from the rate a "normal" weight non smoker would get! That is proof enough for me lol! We will definitely keep using our little grinder for flax seeds that is for sure!

Great blog! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 12:06:57 PM

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/24/2013 8:44AM

    That does solve the flax problem. Great idea!

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BERRY4 2/23/2013 3:39PM

    I have one of each. One for coffee beans (different style - burr grinder) & the one similar to what you showed for flax seeds. It works perfectly!

I have been using this for quite some time! -- I just use a paper towel to wipe out the grinder part & put the lid in the dish washer. There is no evidence of residue or seed parts. (But I do NOT use this grinder for other things because of the oils in flax.)

When I do oat flour, I just use my Oyster blender!
Enjoy your weekend! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/23/2013 3:42:28 PM

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ROCKMAN6797 2/23/2013 2:43PM

    What a wonderful use for the coffee grinder. I use mine to grind my coffee beans. I am going to have to invest in another for grinding up my flax seeds. Again, thanks for sharing!

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PSCHIAVONE2 2/23/2013 11:13AM

    I have several coffee grinders for spices, flax, and finally a mill grinder for coffee. I would never put my coffee in a cheap grinder. It is almost impossible to control the size. emoticon

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KARENE10 2/23/2013 8:59AM

    Thanks for the great information!

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OPTIMIST1948 2/23/2013 4:13AM

    I dont own one, but have read that a simple way to clean is take a tbsp of ordinary rice and buzz. Then dump. Thanks for posting! I had never thought about its uses beyond spice grinding!

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SOTIREDOFTHIS 2/22/2013 6:27PM

  I use a grinder for mine too.....Also, I am sure you know this already but for those who may not, you should store your flax seed/flax meal in your refrigerator, they will last longer. I have a grinder by black and decker and just wipe it out after every use with a damp paper towel. I also thought about using it for oats to make oat flour, and now that you have tried it, I will too! I will give your recipe a try as well.

Thank you!

Comment edited on: 2/22/2013 6:28:00 PM

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SLACHETKA103145 2/22/2013 5:23PM

    Did you guys talk about how to clean so you could do other spices and seed...cloves for instance. I would appreciate any ideas that you have as it is so difficult that I don't use it like I would like to.

Thank for posting...I sure can use if I can figure that out! emoticon

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ROBERTAUP 2/22/2013 4:20PM

    I like it.

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MACMOM57 2/22/2013 4:14PM

    Thanks for sharing that so awesome.

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Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #1- My Bread Machine

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do you ever look at a kitchen gadget or tool and think "I wonder if I'd use that?". Yeah.... me too.

So I thought I would do a series on three gadgets I would have normally thought were a big, fat waste of money and kitchen space, yet have wound up becoming indispensable to me in my never ending quest to eat healthier.

The first "gadget" (although it's really more of an appliance) I am going to herald the value of is my bread machine:


My first bread machine was given to me 13 years ago, I believe it was, by my then-mother-in-law. I remember opening it and thinking "Oh, yeesh! Some big thing I'll never use and have to find a place in my already-too-small kitchen for." Suffice it to say, I was less than thrilled.

But, because she had paid good money for the thing and couldn't stop talking about hers, I dutifully read the instructions and put the ingredients for a loaf of bread in it. I thought it would be inedible and I'd never use it again. Instead it kneaded, let rise, kneaded again, let rise again and then baked a loaf of bread just as delicious as any I'd made the hard way (read: tons and tons of kneading) in the past. It was shaped tall instead of long, which made a rather funny looking loaf. But to get a homemade loaf of bread for almost no effort, what did I care how it looked? We were just going to eat it, anyhow.

Here is a picture of the inside, so you can see how the pan is shaped. This should explain why the loaf is tall instead of the traditional long shape:

And that started my love of bread machines.

I finally used that old bread machine to death. Literally. It died mid-loaf one day when it just stopped kneading. I replaced it promptly with the Corner Bakery brand bread machine pictured above.

Then I started on a quest to improve my health and the bread machine turned into a towel hanger for a long period of time.

One day I found myself with an overwhelming amount of ground flaxseed. There was no way I could use it all up before it went bad. The bread machine caught my eye. I'd been developing recipes of my own and thought "I wonder.......?????". As I Googled whole wheat flax breads I started to figure out the basic principles of how to bake with flaxseed. So on a wing and a prayer I tossed what I believed to be the correct ingredients into my beloved bread machine. Sure enough, out came a delicious and chewy whole wheat bread to rival anything else I'd ever tasted.

It was official: My bread machine and I were dating again.

Since then, not only have I regularly used it for a variety of whole wheat breads (one of our favorites is an Italian Herb Bread recipe I created), but I have also used it on the "dough" setting for whole wheat rolls AND (I saved the best for last!) a wonderful whole-wheat pizza dough that I developed a recipe for. Topped with my grandma's pizza sauce, part-skim mozzarella, fresh-grated Parmesan, lean meats, and sliced fresh veggies...... it's hard to top a home-made, delicious, and healthy pizza.



And let me tell ya, the bread machine makes the whole process a LOT easier! Just toss the ingredients in, put it on "dough" setting, and let it do the hard part. When your machine screams at you that it's done, take the pan out, punch the risen dough down, cover it, and stick it in the fridge until ready to use. Being cold makes it a little easier to handle and gives the crust a nice texture when you bake it.

Double bonus? My teenage daughter, who would rather skip breakfast, will gladly eat leftover pizza for breakfast the next morning. It's a healthy breakfast chock-full of whole grains, good fats, proteins, and even a few veggies to fuel her pretty little head for school.

I love knowing what is in the foods that my family is eating. By using the bread machine, I am able to avoid any chemicals or "what is that?" type ingredients that I often find on packaged breads, doughs, and crusts. And, of course, fresh-baked always tastes better.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 2/25/2013 12:11PM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Maybe I will get myself one of these this year : )!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/24/2013 8:41AM

    Wow! Thanks for the post. Could you maybe share recipes if you have the time, or point us in the right direction? I am going to try this!

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ROCKMAN6797 2/23/2013 2:39PM

    What a great machine!
I have often wondered how this machine works and now I have a much better idea. Thank you for sharing.

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SOTIREDOFTHIS 2/22/2013 6:37PM

  I will be on a quest to find one now.................are you by chance willing to share any of your recipes??? If not, I understand........I will just have to start experimenting and Googling, I just am intimidated in the kitchen......Normally, if I do not have a recipe, it becomes a failure.....

Thank you and I hope you and your bread machine do not break up......... emoticon


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RHONDALYN10 2/21/2013 6:42PM

    Thanks for the additional ideas! You din't by chance have those recipes published do ya?

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BANKER-CHUCK 2/21/2013 6:31PM

    Thanks for the renewed interest in the bread machine. I had swore I would never use mine again and parked it in an obscure place...still taking up space however. Now you have sparked a renewed interest so I may resurrect my 20 yr old machine and give it another chance.

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HDHAWK 2/21/2013 3:47PM

    I love my bread machine but it's currently collecting dust. Like you I figured it was a bad idea to make a bunch of bread I wouldn't be able to resist! I'll do some searching for healthy recipes.

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TIFFANYHADSELL 2/21/2013 3:29PM

  I've been debating making the move to start a relationship with a bread maker. You may have pushed me over the edge... Thanks for the tips for healthy variations!

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