Monday, February 28, 2011
I love lists. I like to make lists. I like to read lists.
I ran into this one today. I wanted to see if the items on this list really were “Simple” and “Healthy.” As I scanned the list I did a mental inventory. “Do I” or “Don’t I” do these things?
And, "Do they make a difference?" Here’s what I discovered.
You can ask yourself these questions too.
Eleven Simple Things to Do to Get Healthy and Stay Healthy
1 Eat a Healthy Breakfast - Yes, I eat breakfast everyday. It’s usually a serving of Multigrain Cheerios with 1 cup of low fat milk and 1 cup of 100% orange juice. I know, I need to add more protein.
2 Drink at Least 8 Glasses of Water - Yes! I do drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. In the warm summer months, it’s easy for me to drink 12-16 glasses of water.
3 Take a Good Quality Multiple Vitamin/Mineral - I take a daily multivitamin. I also take supplemental calcium. And recently added some supplemental fiber.
4 Connect with Other People - I have a good support system. Family, extended family, friends…and now Spark Friends.
5 Express Your Emotions Appropriately - This one says to me: “Don’t eat your emotions, Maria.” I need to figure out how to express them, rather than bury them. Still working on this one. * Needs more work.
6 Eat Fruits and Vegetables – I’ve come along way on this one. I eat at least 6 fruits and vegetables each day now. 2 servings at each meal. It wasn’t always that way before Spark People.
7 Spend at Least 30 Minutes Outdoors - This is very easy for me to do in the spring, summer & fall. I haven’t been good at this one during the winter. I know that the sunlight really improves my mood. * Needs more work.
8 Do Something Physically Active - I really have come along way with this one. I exercise for 50-60 minutes at least 6 days a week. I have always enjoyed walking. Now I am into faster, more fitness style walking. Walking with Leslie Sansone. It’s been a great stress releaser, a good bone strengthener, it’s loosened up my knees. It’s just been a great investment in my future!
9 Take Some Quiet Time for Yourself - I know this one is hard for a lot of people. But I do make this one a priority and it’s not an luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s nourishing my spirit. It helps to relax and rejuvenate me.
10 Keep Regular Sleep Hours - This is one that I am finally getting. My weekday and weekend nights are about the same in length: 7 hours. But I do wake up several times a night. Exercise is helping with some of this. Cutting back on caffeine has also been helpful.
11 Establish a Relationship with a Doctor You Can Trust – I have had the same doctor for the last 17 years. He is very easy to talk with. I feel I can ask him anything and he’ll give me a straight answer. He knows me – inside and out. It’s because of his prompting that I found Spark People in the first place. He told me to eat a little less & exercise a little more. Keeping track of the calories in and calories out. How was I going to do that? Enter…Spark People!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I am an indoor exerciser during the winter.
It's either that or I probably won't exercise at all.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have walked outdoors since November.
Well, this morning I saw the UPS Delivery Truck parked at the end of my driveway. He decided NOT to venture up our 1/4 mile long driveway, as the snow had once again drifted into parts of the driveway. My husband had left for work a couple hours earlier with one of our 4-wheel drive vehicles - so getting out the driveway wasn't a problem for him. The UPS truck has a very low clearance and I am sure it would have been a real challenge for him getting up here into our yard. So he hung the package he was delivering onto our mail box - put it in a plastic bag and tied it the post.
Now, we live on a very busy county road. There are sugar beet trucks hauling frozen sugar beets to a near by processing plant - lots of traffic. I didn't want to lose the package. And I didn't want to wait for my husband to pick it up with the mail when he comes home later this afternoon.
Plus, I knew what was in that package & I HAD to HAVE it NOW!
So I pulled out my LL Bean snow boots, my large red Land's End parka and 'oh so chic' trapper's cap from Cabela's, complete with ear flaps - bundled up and headed out on my mission - I mean, hike. It's sunny this morning with a temperature of 12 degrees. The wind is from the North. My drive way faces directly North. So on the hike out it was pretty crisp and cold. There was a thick layer of ice under our most recent 10 inch snow fall - making my steps a bit slippery. I tried to cover my mouth as the cold air was a shock to my lungs. But I just had to reach that package. Coming back - it would be a breeze. No wind and the trip back up the drive way always goes so much faster - even in the summer!
I got it! And the walk back was faster and more pleasant.
I got a brisk 10 minute walk outdoors today. Woohoo!
But what was in that package I so desperately wanted?
Three new exercise DVD's - by Leslie Sansone.
(Can a person really get excited about an Exercise DVD?)
I needed to add a few lower impact workouts to my collection - since I have to stay away from the higher impact ones atleast for now.
Here's what I got today:
1. Start! Walking At Home - a Beginner/Intermediate 20 Minute Gentle Walk & a 30 Minute Brisk Walk.
2. A Closer 2 Mile Walk
3. 5 Day Slim Down - A Mile Each Morning.
The last one looks really interesting:
Day 1: Classic Walk
Day 2: Sculpt Your Arms
Day 3: Slim Your Legs
Day 4: Trim Your Tummy
Day 5: Speed Walk
Plus there's supposed to be Super Breakfasts - Meal Plans to Kick Start Your Metabolism in the Morning.
I will let you know what I think of each of these as I get into them.
I am glad I took my brisk, outdoor walk this morning!
Now I can take another walk with Leslie in the warm, coziness of my livingroom!
Woohoo for Leslie Sansone Walking DVD's!
They are helping me 'stay the course' this winter!
Make it a great day, everyone!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
~ 30 Healthy, Salty & Sweet Snacks ~
Sometimes I get cravings for some thing "Salty" and sometimes the craving is for something "Sweet." I went looking for a list of "Healthy" Ideas and I found this on www.self.com in their Food & Diet section.
Here are great snacks with less than 200 calories compiled by Wendy Giman.
Craving Something Salty?
• 5 olives (any kind) (45 calories)
• 1 small Martin's pretzel (50 calories)
• 2 oz Applegate Honey and Maple Turkey Breast wrapped around 2 bread-and-butter pickles (80 calories)
• 1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)
• 1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge, 3 pieces Kavli Crispy Thin (85 calories)
• One 1-oz package tuna jerky (90 calories)
• 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (94 calories)
• 1 bag Baked! Cheetos 100 Calorie Mini Bites (100 calories)
• 15 Eden's Nori Maki Crackers rice crackers (110 calories)
• 1 cup unshelled edamame (120 calories)
• 50 Eden's Vegetable Chips (130 calories)
• One 1-oz package of Planters NUT-trition almonds (130 calories)
• 1/4 cup Trader Joe's Chili con Queso, 18 baked tortilla chips (140 calories)
• 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in shell (143 calories)
• 2 pieces (30 grams) prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories)
• 1 Subway Turkey Breast Wrap (190 calories)
Craving Something Sweet?
• 1 package Original Apple Nature Valley Fruit Crisps (50 calories)
• 1 packet O'Coco's Mocha cookies (90 calories)
• 1 Jelly Belly 100-calorie pack (100 calories)
• One 100-calorie pack Trader Joe's Chocolate Graham Toucan Cookies (100 calories)
• One 100-calorie Balance Bar (100 calories)
• 1 Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino bar (120 calories)
• 1 package Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks (120 calories)
• 1/2 banana rolled in 1 tbsp frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories)
• 2 tbsp Better 'n Peanut Butter, 4 stalks celery (124 calories)
• 1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop Butter Mini Bags topped with a spritz of butter spray and 1 tsp sugar (126 calories)
• 24 Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)
• Half of a 1.08-oz container of M&M's Minis mixed with 1/3 cup lowfat granola (145 calories)
• 1 McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait (160 calories)
• 1 container Fage Greek Total 2% fat yogurt, 2 tsp honey (173 calories)
Monday, February 21, 2011
I have made this recipe for years. I did post it in a blog months ago - but was asked for it again. So here it is.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced – choose a variety of different mushrooms, if you can for added texture and flavor
2 teaspoons of dried dill weed
1 Tablespoon of paprika
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce – you could use the low sodium version
2 cups of Chicken broth – vegetable or beef broth or Water
1 cup low fat or skim milk
3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt – could use less
Ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley or a couple Tablespoons of dried parsley
½ cup of sour cream – could use reduced fat or fat free sour cream or even Greek yogurt would work here
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 more minutes. Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together.
Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.
This re-heats very well and is good also on the second day!
I have not entered my recipe in the Spark Recipe section of this site, because there is a very similar recipe already posted there.
Here is the nutritional information on my version of this recipe:
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Total Fat: 13.5 g
Sodium: 829 mg (using chicken broth)
Total Carbs: 14.8g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4g
Friday, February 18, 2011
This and That
Yesterday was an interesting day.
I woke up to very dense fog. We have been having warmer temperatures this week, 40’s even.
I had a Physical Therapy follow-up appointment in a larger city about 20 miles away. It was for 10:30 a.m. and I was hoping the fog would lift by then. No such luck. I had to make a left hand turn onto a major highway and almost couldn’t see if there were cars coming until I was in the intersection. I just hate that! Luckily, I could stay on that highway for my entire drive until I got to the medical center. It was a little clearer in the city. By the time I was finished with my appointment and went to my vehicle I figured that surely the fog must have lifted by now – it was 12:45 p.m. It hadn’t. So another cautious drive home. About 1:30 p.m. – shortly after getting home, it did start to lift.
My Physical Therapy session went well. I am trying to a more positive person, so I seek out the positive. It’s too soon to know if therapy will help my condition, but I have a plan with exercises. I CAN walk. (I really wish I could stop thinking about the therapist mentioning that I won’t be able to run or jog – ever. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to run, but I had high hopes of becoming a jogger.) I try to put the thought out of my head that surgery probably is in my future at some point. Hey, 12 years ago that was being talked about and I sidestepped it then.
Trying to be positive. I was given some additional core-strengthening exercises. And I finally had a mystery explained to me. I have always had one leg a bit longer than the other. I just have lived with it. Nothing major – no shoe inserts – just I always knew that. And when I started taking my measurements monthly here at SparkPeople, I found out that one thigh in about an inch larger than the other – the longer leg. The therapist discovered this why doing an exam yesterday and so I asked what’s up with this? Appears that my left leg is weaker, less muscle – the right one is working harder, compensating for the weaker one. Just interesting to find that out. So I have an exercise I can do to help align that weaker leg. Don’t know how to really strengthen it yet by its left. She talked about watching to see that I do things in a balanced manner. That I don’t favor the right over the left – crossing my legs or sleeping on one side, etc.
So I will continue to see my cup half full (& not half empty as I have in the past). I will be happy for what I can do! I go back in three weeks for follow-up. So I will work hard at home getting stronger.
Weight loss has stopped. I haven’t been able to do interval training like I have in the past. That seems to boost the weight loss long for me. Also, I haven’t been eating in the lower range of my calories. Been still in the middle to upper range. So that probably isn’t helping with my reduced exercise intensity. Better re-evaluate and re-formulate a plan - eating and exercise.
Yesterday afternoon, I accompanied my husband on a trip to teach a class on: “Growing Your Own Food.” (My husband is an Agricultural Instructor at an area college & teaches Community Education Classes for College Credits some times.) This was about 90 minutes from our home – closer to the metropolitan area of Minneapolis & St. Paul. It’s a 2 part class and it's about basic backyard gardening and poultry farming for suburban areas. He customizes the training to suit the students. These were a group of Moms that wanted to be able to grow healthy vegetables and fruits for their families – but didn’t know where to start. He discussed the basics of what grows well here in Minnesota, what to plant, when to plant it, how to do it and he supplied a “Raised Bed” garden plan for limited space. They have an assignment to check out what their various city ordinances allow, construction of a raised bed, poultry in city limits if that’s something they want to raise, etc. I think I will attend next week’s class too. Even though we grow our own veggies and do some commercial vegetable growing – just being in the discussion last evening – helped me learn more too. So it was a fun way to spend the evening. We left home at 4:00 p.m. and got back at 11:00 p.m.
On the way home we stopped at a convenient store. I wanted something to eat. I can now have a small amount of chocolate back into my diet – so I was looking for a little bit of dark chocolate. Then I saw a product that I have never seen before: “Original Cheese Jerky.” It was 1.5 ounces. It didn’t have the nutrition information on the package. But I knew I probably could find it on line. (And I did today!) It was 137 Calories and it hit the spot! While it had 9 grams of fat – it also had 10 grams of protein. It fit into my ranges for yesterday just fine.
Better stop rambling for now!
Have a nice weekend, everyone!
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