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Archive for July, 2011

Cool off with these Low Calorie Frozen Desserts

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There are a lot of frozen dessert choices out there, but a lot of them are packed with fat and calories.  Try some of these tasty frozen treats on a hot summer day.  They taste great and they won’t wreck your fitness and nutrition plan!

You know you want one!

  • Breyers Light Double Churned: 120 to 130 calories per serving
  • Breyers Light No Sugar Added: 80 to 120 calories per serving
  • Edy’s/ Dryer’s Slow Churned Ice Cream: 100 to 130 calories per serving
  • Edy’s/ Dryer’s Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt: 90 to 100 calories per serving
  • Healthy Choice: 100 to 120 calories per serving
  • Stonyfield Farm Nonfat Frozen Yogurt: 120 to 140 calories per serving
  • Healthy Choice ice cream bars and sandwiches: 80 to 140 calories each
  • Klondike Slim-a-Bar – Fudge Bar No Sugar Added: 90 to 110 calories each
  • Klondike Slim-a-Bar – Ice Cream Sandwiches: 110 to 130 calories
  • Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich: 140 calories each, all flavors
  • Starbucks Frappuccino Bars: 110 to 130 calories each
  • Weight Watchers: bars, cones, sandwiches, 60 to 140 calories each

Fitness Fast Fact: Play some Beach volleyball and burn 280 calories in 30 minutes!

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Related posts:

  1. Cool off this Summer with these Tasty Frozen Treats
  2. The PTI Buzz: Frozen Yogurt
  3. The PTI Buzz – New Low Calorie “Bread” Alternatives

Goodbye 300′s

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So it has been two months since I started my weight loss journey.  I am officially under 300 pounds now, weighing 298 pounds!  I have lost a total of 24 pounds and about 18 inches off my body!  I haven’t been under 300 pounds in about two years, so it feels good.  All of my size 28 clothes are now too big for me – it’s a good feeling to have to change an outfit that doesn’t fit because it’s too big, not because it’s too small.

When I look at the past two months put together, I have to say it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be.  Yes, it’s been hard – but it’s not been the impossible feat I had always led myself to believe it would be.  That’s one of the main excuses I had always told myself… “It’s too hard.”  When you’re 322 pounds and you need to lose over half your body weight, losing weight becomes this looming cloud of dread that has you defeated before you ever even try.  It only took me two months to lose the weight that took me two years to put on.  When you think about how quickly you can turn your life around and make a change for the better, it is all worth it.  The only thing is, you are the only person who can make that change and sometimes we are our own worst enemies.

There have been moments these past two months that have been very hard.  I have been going hiking with my dad, and let’s just say that me dragging my 300 pound body up the side of a mountain doesn’t make me feel sentimental, warm and cozy inside.  It’s freaking hard.  Some of the strength training exercises that I have to do make me think that after this, child-birth can’t be so bad.  One thing I am grateful for though, is that I actually feel alive again.  I can’t tell you how many months/years I was just existing, barely living.  Day after day, just going through the motions, wasting away watching hours and hours of TV, not even able to lift my head up and look at the world around me.  Even after losing only 24 pounds, I have so much more energy and desire to get out and do things.  It is so good to be able to feel again – even if it is pain.

After so much success, it’s not to say that there haven’t been bumps in the road and times where I have made the wrong decisions.  A couple of weeks ago after a long night with friends, I decided to stop by Jack in the Box simply because someone had mentioned it that night, and I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.  So around midnight, I ordered a jr. bacon cheeseburger, two tacos, jalapeno poppers, and curly fries… of course, can’t go to Jack in the Box without eating curly fries.  This has been a life long struggle of mine.  Once a certain food pops into my mind, I can’t get rid of the craving until I give in and go get it.  Good thing for me this bad decision actually helped me and after 5-6 weeks of eating only healthy foods, the high calorie meal actually shocked my system and I dropped 3 pounds in the next two days (not that it was a good idea… bad idea.. bad).  Then there was Harry Potter Week (which was amazing by the way) where I ate popcorn pretty much every night.  I was still counting calories, but the sodium overload definitely slowed down my weight loss progress and made my ankles non-existent.  Bottom line is that this is life and you can’t expect never to eat anything “bad” ever again.  More important than always making good decisions is the decision you make after you make the bad one; to either let things go back to the way they were, or get back on track.

I said I would always be honest.  This isn’t a perfect journey, but it’s my journey, and I’m grateful for every second of it.

 

Grab and Go Snacks with Protein

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Snacks are an important part of a healthy eating plan. Make sure you are getting good snacks though. To do this requires a little planning as we are surrounded by lots of bad snack choices. Snacks that contain protein will stay with you longer, make you feel fuller and help dampen the sugar crash often associated with snacks. Here are 6 easy, grab and go snacks:

  1. Jerky (turkey or beef) – this is a great snack that is low fat, lean, tasty, available in a variety of flavors and satisfies the chewy factor. 1 oz of jerky give you about 10g of protein for only 100 calories. Watch sodium and look for low sodium varieties if you can find them.
  2. Roasted Soy Nuts – an interesting change up from all the traditional nuts. Available in flavors. Check out wasabi flavored! 1/4 cup gives you 6g of protein for 120 calories.
  3. Cheese packs – not just for kids lunches! Try coupling one of these with and apple, pear or a bunch of grapes: reduced fat string cheese, Laughing Cow wedges/cubes or Babybels.
  4. Protein Bars – keep in mind there are snack bars and meal replacement bars. You want to look for bars that have 200 calories or less. Watch the sugars in some of these bars especially if you are diabetic!
  5. Hard Boiled Eggs – Put a little pepper on them and oh so good! Great portable snack!
  6. Fat free or Low fat Milk – great for post workout. Has carbohydrates and protein and is also good for rehydrating!

Make sure you are planning ahead so that you have good protein laden snacks handy! Let us know of other great portable snack you use!

2011 Superfoods for the Summer

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Check out these super cool superfoods this summer.  Have you tried any of these already? Let us know what you liked or disliked about them.

Sea Buckthorn Berries– contains Omega-7 fatty acids

Cupuaçu

Mangosteen – best for anti-aging

Cinnamon – excellent anti-inflammatory

Mulberries – high content of Vitamin C

Chia seeds – reduce Cholesterol and high in fiber

Black Garlic
– higher anitoxidant value than regular garlic

Cupuaçu – new from the Amazon, high in anti-oxidant

Teff – whole grain that is also gluten free

Skyr – Icelandic yogurt packed with protein

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Related posts:

  1. Superfoods for 2011
  2. Common Superfoods – You would have never guessed!
  3. 2010 SUPERFOODS

Better Baking Tips

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Did you know that you can swap applesauce for vegetable oil one of one when you are baking and eliminate a lot of unhealthy fats from your baking. I use natural, unsweetened applesauce to avoid the additional sugars as well. Combine this with using granulated Splenda or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend you can really reduce the caloric content of your baking while still tasting delicious! Give these a try in you favorite recipe and let me know what you think!

4 Rules to Avoid Runner’s Burnout

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runner burnout

By Ed Eyestone
Runner’s World

Runners tend to be a motivated lot, always compelled to do more and do it faster. Yet this desire to push our limits can send us over the edge. When our efforts to run faster leave us sidelined with injury or as flat as Frank Shorter’s race-day Coca-Cola, there’s a good chance that we’ve gone too far. The trouble is, we sometimes don’t know the difference between a great workout and an overdone disaster until a day or two later, and then it’s too late. Sometimes we don’t know until a month goes by and we have a horrible race! Further complicating things is that each athlete is different in how he or she responds to difficult workouts. Despite the complexity, however, here are some basic rules to ensure that you’re working hard enough to get the desired training effect—without going over the cliff.

Rule 1: Train to Race

One evening during high-school cross-country practice, I was feeling feisty. Instead of running in the middle of the pack for the last interval, I launched into the lead and finished in an all-out sprint. But there was no pat on the back for winning the workout. Nope. Coach admonished me—”Hey, we train to race. We don’t race to train!” That aphorism is the gauge that can successfully monitor intensity: If the end of a workout feels like the end of a race, you’ve pushed too hard.

 

 

Rule 2: Avoid the Time Slide

If your interval times are getting slower with the same or increased perceived effort, you’re either starting too fast, not giving yourself enough recovery, or both. Run at a pace you can maintain for the duration. If you can run slightly faster on the final interval, you’ve likely worked within the proper training zone.

 

Rule 3: Know When to Say When

Sometimes it’s good to quit while the quitting is good. I advise my runners to end the workout feeling like they could run one more interval at the given pace. This requires an honest evaluation by the athlete. Most runners want to continue hammering away until the time slide occurs, but by then, you’ve gone too far.

 

 

Rule 4: It’s Better to Be Underdone Than Overcooked

You can flout these rules once or twice without penalty. But my experience has been that when athletes are constantly driven into a lactic acid–drenched, anaerobic funk at the end of the workout, they will peak quickly then flame out. At that point, only a complete break or an extended period of aerobic base training will bring them back.

 

Flaxseeds…whole vs ground

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Keep the ground, pass the whole

So you are spooning on whole flaxseeds to get those heart healthy omega-3 fats..problem is that whole flaxseeds and the omega-3s they contain usually just pass on through, so to speak. Flaxseeds are an excellent way to add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to baked goods, oatmeal or cereal. They are a good alternative to fish and fish oils for vegetarians or vegans. Whole seed tend to pass right through though. Best choice is to grind the seeds and unlock the goodness!

Better Blueberry Muffins! Must Try!

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These low fat and low sugar muffins make for a great start to the day or a good pre-workout snack.  Make a batch on the weekend for a quick and tasty breakfast, then serve with a piece of fruit and a glass of low-fat milk. 

25 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

Ingredients
    1 cup quick oats (do not use instant oatmeal)
    1 cup low-fat buttermilk
    1 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1⁄2 tsp baking soda
    1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 egg
    1⁄4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    1 cup blueberries, washed and dried

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray the muffin
pan with nonstick cooking spray or line the
wells with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk
and let the mixture stand at room temperature
for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine
the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,
and salt; mix with a fork to blend and set
aside.
3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat
the egg, applesauce, and brown sugar at medium
speed for 3 minutes.
4. Blend the oat-buttermilk mixture into the egg
mixture, then stir in the flour mixture until just
combined (try not to overwork the mixture).
Fold in the blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3⁄4 full
and top with a sprinkle of ground flaxseed.
5. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted
into the center comes out clean. 

Number of Servings: 14

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 muffin (53g)
Amount Per Serving

73.8

9.6

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0.3g 1%
Cholesterol 15.6mg 5%
Sodium 261.5mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 13.4g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 3.1g 6%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your caloric needs.

 

Best and Worst Food for Weight Loss

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Here are some of the best foods for weight loss and some of the worst foods that cause weight gain:

Best for Loss:

  1. Fruits/Berries – lots of vitamins and 1 cup of berries has about 83 calories
  2. Vegetables – more vitamins and fill you up. 1 cup of red peppers has about 46 calories
  3. Nuts – slimming monosaturated fats and filling. 1 cup has about 265 calories
  4. Low Fat Dairy – Good calcium  and a 5oz greek yogurt has about 80 calories
  5. Whole Grains – lots of fiber. 2 slices have about 180 calories
  6. Diet Soda – surprising but did show weight loss. 1 cup has 1 calorie.

Best for Weight Gain:

  1. Whole Dairy – 1 cup regular milk has about 150 calories; skim only 83!
  2. Potato Chips – probably the biggest offender along with soda. 1 oz has about 150 calories
  3. Potatoes – fried or not they are weight gainers. A medium baked potato has about 160 calories before the add ons.
  4. Refined Grains – low on fiber, high glycemic. 1/4 cup white rice has about 145 calories
  5. Sugar Sweetened Beverages – virtually no nutritional value. 1 cup of cola has about 91 calories
  6. 100% Fruit Juice – some vitamins but you might be better with the soda at 112 calories a cup
  7. Sweets and Desserts – no brainer. Hostess Cupcake = 180 calories
  8. Processed Meats – usually also high in sodium. 1 slice of processed turkey has about 35 calories
  9. Unprocessed Red Meat – higher is saturated fat than other choices. 8oz steak has about 318 calories

Better choices lead to better results!