Monday's Topic: Food Safety!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hungry Girl sent out information about an important food recall and a new website that will update us on food safety issues.

First of all, 3 Lean Cuisine meals were recalled:

  • LEAN CUISINE CafĂ© Classics Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta
  • LEAN CUISINE Spa Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean
  • LEAN CUISINE Dinnertime Selects Chicken Tuscan
For more information on this recall, click HERE and HERE. Make sure to share this information with your friends!

Also - she informed us of a new website that informs us of any important food safety issues. You can even subscribe to get free e-mail updates!

So be safe! Happy Monday everyone!

Getting Motivated - YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

One of my favorite motivational bloggers posted some GREAT ideas on how to get motivated to work out and keep at it.

His tips included:

  • Work out at a consistent time every day. Many people say it takes at least 21 days (3 weeks) to form a habit. So get a calendar - decide on a time you will do this every day and start marking it off until it is second nature!!

  • The Power of Positive thinking . . . VISUALIZE yourself having an awesome workout - and then make that dream come true!

  • Uh-oh, have you been bad? Did you miss a workout? We teach our children that bad choices have consequences, so why don't our own? Create a punishment for yourself for when you miss a workout and find someone to hold you to it! For me, since my hubby does all the housework (Gosh, I love him) I would need to owe him by cooking dinner, doing dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. and I would ask him to hold me accountable - because if we don't follow through on our punishments then we won't learn!!

  • Having trouble getting started? Just tell yourself to do a few exercises and then you can quit if you want. I've noticed that once I start, I get more determined to finish at least 30 minutes - so JUST START. Stop making excuses! (Yes, I'm talking to myself here.)

  • Support is a huge thing on completing goals - so find a workout buddy or create an online blog and TELL PEOPLE your struggles and your successes. Putting yourself out there can be a great motivator, because you don't want to let your workout buddy (or the entire online community who just might be reading your blog) down.

  • JAM! Create a workout playlist and turn it UP!

  • Did you workouts all week? Reward yourself! (NOT WITH FOOD!) Rent a movie that YOU have always wanted to watch, take some time for yourself, play a game with the kids, etc.

  • KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING. I know that when I keep track of what I eat and how often I exercise, it is a great motivator. PLUS - you should keep track of your goals, your rewards for meeting them, and your punishments for when you don't!

Thank you Mark for those great tips! I'm getting it on this RIGHT NOW for myself!! How about you??

See Mark's entire post here:

The Toaster Pastry War

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I love Pop-Tarts. I always have. I used to love going to my friend Michelle's house as a child because her mom always had CHOCOLATE POP-TARTS. (Of course, I NEVER ate the last one because of a scary story they told about what happened to those who dared to eat the last chocolate Pop-Tart . . .)

Anyway . . . the other day while strolling the aisles of the grocery store - I found something that excited me! Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Toaster Pastries. Could it be? Could I have found a healthier alternative for my beloved Pop-Tarts?

Well - let's check out the nutritional information:

Well, it still isn't the BEST choice - but Fiber One's version does have less calories, less sugar, less fat, less sodium and less carbs - and it also has potassium, more fiber, and more protein.
So as a treat - it might work for breakfreast some mornings, but it can't be something I eat every day. And I can only eat ONE at a time (what a bummer that they package them in twos.)
I do have to say though - I tried them and they are really good. You can tell that they have more fiber in them, but I've started to really like that nutrititious FIBER BUZZ I get when eating food with added fiber. Again I caution you though - don't eat a lot of fiber before bed!!!
Have a great Thursday - the week is almost over!!!

Foods that help with stress!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I found this post that discusses 10 foods that can help with stress . . . alas, chocolate isn't on this list. But these things are:

  1. Blueberries - Vitamin C is supposed to help your body deal with stress and Fiber regulates blood sugar levels.
  2. Skim milk - high in protein and Vitamin B to protect nerve health, and protein to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  3. Oranges - more Vitamin C!
  4. Brown Rice - B Vitamins, fiber, and serotonin producing carbs.
  5. Green Vegetables - filled with vitamins - and many contain potassium which can help calm nerves.
  6. Dried Apricots - Vitamin C, Fiber and stress-busting magnesium.
  7. Turkey - contains L-Tryptophan which is documented as a calming agent. (Which would be why we all fall asleep after thanksgiving dinner!)
  8. Soy - Add foods with soy to your diet, soy contains B vitamins, protein, calcium AND magnesium.
  9. Sweet Potatoes - they can help curb your craving for sweet stuff and they are high in fiber and other vitamins!
  10. Water - even mild dehydration can cause your body to stress. Plus - water can curb the urge to eat something fattening!
And some studies have shown that a little chocolate CAN be good for you (especially dark chocolate) - so if you have to give in to it . . . just give in a little bit.

How about you? Do you know of any other stress reducing foods?

Any ideas on how to deal with stress?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yes, I am still here and still with you. I didn't do any "formal" workouts over the weekend - but I did a lot of cleaning, and a lot of pacing . . .

Over the past month my daughter was in the hospital with pneumonia, my Dad had a heart attack, and last night I had to take my hubby to the ER - they diagnosed him with Bell's Palsy. It is treatable and will hopefully get better really soon. But I am SO SICK of hospitals and the stress that comes with them!

So - what do you do to DE-stress? At this point in my life, it is impossible to AVOID it - but I have to learn to DEAL with it . . . WITHOUT turning to the refrigerator and it's trusty chocolate goodness. ;-)

I'm going to be looking for inspiration over the course of this week on dealing with stress - but I would love your input as well!!

Happy Monday!

How to eat Heart Healthy and other things . . .

Friday, November 14, 2008

Due to my Dad's episodes this past week, I'm educating myself on eating diabetic friendly and heart healthy. It is difficult for people who eat out quite often to change their habits and start eating a healthier diet. I found a couple of really good websites that can help with this:

This link gives great tips on how to eat out and still make heart healthy choices. Here are some of their main tips (paraphrased) for eating out:

  • Study the menu and ASK how foods are prepared. Don't be afraid, it's your health!

  • Ask for substitutions, many times you can get margarine instead of butter or skim milk instead of whole. ASK!
  • Ask for salad dressings and sauces ON THE SIDE and order LIGHT when available.

  • Experiment with lemon juice or vinegar and oil instead of salad dressing.

  • Skip the mayo or get it on the side - use mustard or ketchup instead.

  • Ditch the french fries and dive into the veggies!
  • Get a veggie pizza with half the cheese and extra sauce.

  • Sometimes, plain is good . . . order a regular hamburger or broiled chicken and skip the toppings/sauces. Although it may bum you out in the beginning - it is better than the alternative, and you can grow to like it!

  • For dessert - try frozen yogurt, sherbet, jell-o or fresh fruit!

  • Try splitting your meal with your dining companion. Or ask for a box when you first get your meal so you can put half of it away for the next day. That way you aren't tempted to overeat.

And what about diabetic friendly foods? The Mayo Clinic site has some simple tips for eating healthy as a diabetic. Many of the tips are the same as eating heart healthy - don't be afraid to ask for substitutions, watch your portion sizes and get sauces/dressings on the side. The principles of diabetes nutrition are really quite simple:
  • Variety! Eat a variety of HEALTHY foods.

  • Limit fat and salt.

  • Watch portion sizes.
  • Eat at the same time every day.

  • You don't have to skip dessert! Just plan for it and keep track of your carbs!

  • Most important: Follow the guidelines given to you by your doctor!

It is all about making a change in your lifestyle and STICKING TO IT. We all CAN do this if we really try.

Be sure to check out the links above for more great information - and even if you don't have heart issues or diabetes - following these tips are good for all of us!!

3 days in a row!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I completed DAY THREE of working out 30 minutes. Woohoo!!

I have decided that my favorite exercise on the Wii Fit is the Rhythm Boxing.

I did 10 minutes on the expert level this morning and I was sweating by the time I was done. My new "plan" is to do cardio every other day and strength training on the off days. I try to do a little bit of yoga at the end every day.

Here's hoping my scales start being nice to me again. :-)

So what about you? Do you have a plan? Don't wait until the first of the year - start NOW! The holidays can add pounds to your body and you'll have to work that much harder to get them back off!!

Make a plan and start TODAY!!

Yay for the breakfast sandwich!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yesterday I tried the new Weight Watchers SmartOnes Morning Express Canadian Style Bacon English Muffin Sandwich (boy, that's a long description!)

I have to say - I loved it!!! As the box says, it is only 4 Points. Nutritional Information: 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein.

It's a good and quick way to start the day. Check it out!!!

What's it gonna take to change?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Every now and then . . . you have a wake up call that makes you go . . . okay - I have GOT to do something about my health. You would think I've had enough of them lately - but bad habits are so easy to fall back into. Admittedly - I did just that. I had lost almost 30 pounds and then just got stuck. I stayed at the same weight for so long . . . I gave up. BAD ME.

Then, I had to go back to the doctor . . . and my cholesterol hadn't changed from a year before. So I got put on cholesterol medicine. And my GERD had been acting up again, so I got back on medicine for that. I HATE being on medication. Did that wake me up? Nope. The M&M gods still called to me and won out over every thing else.

And then . . . my pants started to get tight again. Did that wake me up? A little bit - I tried eating better at least half of the time . . . but I still was not being a good girl. Not even close.

So what did it take?

Last Thursday morning, my SuperStepMommy called me from the hospital. My Daddy was having chest pain and they admitted him. Ends up - he had a mild heart attack, but it could have been much worse. He had 95% blockage in one of his arteries and 70% in another. They put in a medicated (or coated) stent to open up his artery. He was very lucky. It scared him. And me . . .

And that is what it took. I'm back on track - and I'm determined to stay there. So I can stay here . . . for my kids and my family. For my Dad.

(Yeah, he's silly . . .)

This week I'm focusing on keeping track of what I eat and drinking water. I also got back on the horse (or the Wii Fit) and did 30 minutes tonight. Why I ever stopped, I don't know. It is so much fun and it makes me sweat!

So here I go . . . back to my journey of change . . . with a new reason and a new goal . . . a new ME! :-)

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