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    • Yikes...I don't do so well on vacation!

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    •  8/31/2009 12:16:37 PM
    • Yowzers!!!  I can't believe how easy it is to revert back to my old ways of eating!  Unbelievable.  After being on vacation for a week in Lake Powell I definitely need to step back to Weight-Loss Mom.  7 pounds in 7 days.  Yuck!  By my last night in Lake Powell I didn't even care what I was eating.  My last meal on the way home was half a cheeseburger and fries!  I didn't even bat an eyelash.  The backlash of it all was getting on the scale when I got home and then having NO energy to workout.  I felt disgusting. I looked disgusting. Aand I couldn't believe how quickly it all happened!

      But now that I am home I am rededicated (especially after seeing how fantastic Newbie Mommy looks).  So for the next week I will be going back to what I know works - a whole food diet with lots of veggies and NO sugar!!  Even after one day I feel much better and already dropped 2 of those pounds.  Hopefully by the end of the week my body will have forgiven me for the wreckless abandon I treated it with.   Sorry body, I know better.  Luckily I have a website like this that keeps me focused and great friends that inspire me!

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    • Lunch Time Woes!

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    •  8/16/2009 5:19:22 PM
    • I remember seeing the movie "Supersize Me" (a definite must see) and watching in disgust as they showed the kind of  "food" that is served to our kids in schools across the nation.  I remember thinking that I would NEVER let my kids eat that kind of processed crap.  And then of course... as years went by...  and my kids started heading off to school...and "EVERYONE else was having hot lunch"..slowly my initial disgust gave way to tolerance, which gave way to feeble acceptance. But as of late, I have recommitted myself (and my kids) to healthier lunch options.

       

      We have come to an agreement that my kids are allowed to pick 4 days a month to have hot lunch.  The rest of the time they bring cold lunch from home.  I was searching for nutritious ideas and came across Bento boxes.  Essentially these are the lunch boxes that are what most Japanese people pack their lunches in.  The great engineering behind this lunch boxes is that they compartmentalize your lunch (without loads of tupperware and ziplock bags).  The Japanese ones weren't exactly what I was looking for, but my Bento search lead me to an American company called Laptop Lunches.  Both me and my kids were ectastic the day we received our new lunch boxes.

       

      The genius behind these is that when the kids open up the box, there are 4 containers each with a different food choice (and they don't need to have lids unless it is a liquid).  So they can have a sandwich, apple slices, nuts, and a cookie right there at their fingertips.  Brilliant.  So on occasion I will post some fun lunch time ideas that have worked for us.

      On this particular day my kids took fruit salsa w/ tortilla chips (see recipe), sliced English cucumber, walnuts, and choc. chips

       

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    • Tip of the day - Quick way to raise your dough

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    •  8/14/2009 8:43:29 PM
    • If you are in a rush to cook your bread and don't have a lot of time to let your dough rise, here is a little tip.

      Turn your oven on to about 170 degrees.  Put your covered loaves into the oven along with a bowl of water.

      Close the door and turn your oven OFF.  This will speed up the rising time significantly.  After the dough has risen,

      take the dough OUT of the oven.  Preheat your oven to the desired temperature and bake your bread according to your directions.

      Easy as pie (and almost as tasty)!!!

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    • Biggest Loser Fans....Vegetarian Style!!!

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    •  8/14/2009 8:20:47 PM
    • Alright you Biggest Loser fans, I happened to open the current issue of Vegetarian Times  (actually says September issue) and happened to see a small article about BOB HARPER.  He is the super cute and talented trainer on THE BIGGEST LOSER.  Last season was the first time I had ever watched the show.  Don't ask  what took me so long to jump on the band wagon.  I am a reality TV junkie and I love nutrtion and exercise; no wonder I love this show.  (Except for the ridiculous product placement and the bogus plugs for animal products simply because they are HUGE sponsors of the show.)  Anyway, the article said that Bob has become VEGETARIAN and dropped his cholesterol 100 points.  He said he became more aware of this lifestyle by reading "Skinny Bitch".  You GO BOB (looking even hotter to me now).  I guess he is rubbing off on Jillian too.  On her radio station she mentioned that she used to be anti-vegetarian but that Bob is starting to rub off on her.  I seriously hope some of this comes through on the show this season (we'll see how much freedom sponsors give Bob on this).  It would be so great to have a completely certified trainer tell people that they can actually get PROTEIN from PLANTS. 

       

      That's got to be the number one question I get at the gym, "Well, if you don't eat meat, how do you get enough protein?"  I used to be just like everyone else; mixing my protein powder with water in the locker room and chugging it down before  barely taking 2 steps out of the gym.  NO MORE!!  I even gave up the Soy Protein Drinks (mainly because these are all highly processed with added sugar).  There isn't really anything "whole food" about a protein drink.  Instead I have a piece of fruit waiting for me in the car.  And how do I feel?.....Fantastic!  My muscles aren't shrinking, my energy levels aren't somehow lower, and my daily muscle recovery is great. 

       

      "Something everyone should know about protein: Every whole food contains protein! Carrots contain it, celery contains it. We do not have to restrict ourselves to nuts, seeds, and beans when thinking about protein. We certainly do not need to focus on animal products. The protein consumed from a balanced plant-based diet appears to be plenty. Many of us have been conditioned to worry about specific nutrients, such as protein. If we just consume the foods the human body is designed for, we don't have to worry about the nutrients and we should experience optimal health."  (www.soystache.com)

       

      So how did we somehow get sold that we don't get enough protein?  What are we all afraid of exactly?  I don't recall anyone being rushed to the hospital because the were having a "low-protein attack".  I honestly can't think of any MAJOR DISEASE or illness that is in anyway related to not having enough protein.  In fact the opposite is true.  Heart attacks, Diabetes, Cancer and so many of the "big ones" are being PROVEN to be linked to diets high in animal PROTEIN.  Not plant protein (beans, spinach etc), but ANIMAL PROTEIN.  If this is true, don't you owe it to yourself to look into what you are eating a little further? I think the greatest marketing ploys of all time are that we need MILK for CALCIUM and that we need MEAT for PROTEIN.  (Well done dairy industry, well done meat industry.)

       

      Why would someone like Bob Harper decide to change his diet at this point in his life?  Think about it.  He is in incredible shape.  He is on a hit TV show.  He could have clients lined up until the day he dies.  What could he possibly gain by changing his diet?  The only plausible answer that I can think of is BETTER HEALTH.  That's the same reason I changed my eating.  I used to think that the way I was eating would result in the healthiest lifestyle until I slowly (and skeptically) learned otherwise.  My guess is that this was probably the same for Bob!

       

      Let me just say that this does not mean that I will never eat animal products again, it just means that it is no longer the focus of my meals.  No more egg whites for breakfast, no more chicken breast for lunch, and no more fish for dinner.  These are now occasional side dishes replaced instead by a fantastic and delicious PLANT BASED DIET.

       

      So what in the world do I eat?  Follow my food journal and you'll see how tasty a vegetarian lifestyle can be!

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    • Is Eating Healthy Hard?

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    •  8/6/2009 8:52:00 AM
    • I think the short answer to this would be yes!! 

       

      It seems that when life gets crazy or even a little stressful, the first thing to go is my goal of healthy eating.  Why is that?

       

      Well, I think there are lots of reasons.

       

      For starters, eating healthy takes a lot of PLANING!  To begin with, it's imperative to have the right kinds of food in your house.  This is usually produce, which doesn't have a year shelf life like most processed foods.  This is turn ultimately means more trips to the grocery store.  And then, even if you have the right foods, it's not like you are just opening a can and throwing it into the microwave for lunch.  A healthy meal usually takes a little more preparation.  So if I am running around all day, it takes a conscious effort to make sure my meals aren't as hectic as my day.

       

      Next off, it takes DEDICATION.  I am always amazed at how easily this can slip into "indifference".  I know for me, if I've had a bad day I suddenly "don't care" what I have for dinner as long as it's quick and doesn't take much brain power.  It seems that I am constantly   needing to "recharge" myself and my commitment to a healthier lifestyle.  This is a really important part of keeping myself on track.  There are numerous ways I do this.  First of all I am almost always reading some sort of nutrition book.  If I feel like I'm starting to "slip", when I pick up a book and read about all the benefits of a plant-based diet, suddenly I feel a surge to improve my eating.  I recently read an article by a marketing executive that basically said, "People have no idea how many million of dollars are spent on making us want to eat foods that are not good for us".  He said that when you walk down the cereal isle alone you are bombarded with thousands of messages that we don't even realize.  The only way to offset this in our brain is to reprogram it with truthful facts about food. I also love to get together with other "Mommies" and just talk nutrition.  It never gets old for me!!  Lastly, I find that looking at great recipes or great websites can give me a quick little "boost" that I might need that day.  Every little bit helps!

       

      So is eating healthy difficult?  Well, like I said, the short answer is yes, but the long answer is NO!!!!  It definitely takes time to adjust into a lifestyle of healthy living.  But eventually it becomes second nature.  Where at one point you might have stared at a can of pinto beans in the pantry week after week quizically wondering when you ever use it; soon enough you are opening it almost unconsciously because you are so used to your new way of life!  It gets easier and easier, and you start to feel better and better.  Never underestimate the power of what we use to fuel our bodies.  Living enzymes make us feel more alive!  Our thoughts are clearer.  Soon you might even detect a little bounce in your step.  I can honestly say there is not any bouncing going on for me after eating chocolate cake.  As much as I might enjoy each bite, the aftermath never seems worth it.  I never feel sluggish after a fantastic homemade salad.  In the end, if I FEEL better, my life IS better!  So the long answer is NO, eating healthy is not hard because of how much I benefit from it!  (Now If I can only remember that EVERY single time the grumbling in my stomach begins!)

       

      Life is too great to ever waste any time feeling lousy!

       

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    • Tip of the day - Freezing bananas

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    •  8/3/2009 8:12:34 AM
    • Freezing a banana might just be common sense to some of you, but it wasn't

      that way for me at first.  So I'll briefly share what I've learned.

      First of all, bananas are best to freeze when they are speckled, which is when

      their fructose level is high.  Simply peel the bananas and stick them in a plastic

      storage bag.  I used to put the whole banana (with peel) in the freezer and

      quickly realized that they are impossible to peel!!!

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