Thursday, October 30, 2014

Motivation

Seeing results is extremely motivating!  Losing pounds and inches at the end of a week of hard work is rewarding (even if it's only a few).  Through this challenge I have found myself dreading weigh-in day.  Because I know that after a week of working hard if I haven't lost anything it's extremely difficult to feel motivated to continue on the next week.  Anyone else have a similar experience?!?!

I know there is more to measure progress than just a scale and tape measure.  So why do those seem like the most important?!?!  I try to measure other things too...how my clothes are fitting, how I was able to hike further and faster, how a really hard work out video seems just a bit easier....but yet I find myself feeling anxiety tonight about my weigh-in tomorrow morning.  I'm a bit neurotic.

But regardless of what the scale tells me tomorrow I'm going to Keep Going!

Totally worth it

So next week I will probably be missing out on a lot of points.  NOT because I'm not doing my "stuff" but because it will be very difficult, if not impossible, do get on the internet.  I am going on a 10 year anniversary vacation (11 months late!) with my husband for 10 DAYS.  We will be on a cruise ship and access to the internet will be prohibitively expensive.  I will not be able to blog, I will not be able to turn in my points for the week, and I'm not even sure if there will be a scale for me to even weigh myself!  The competitor in me is crying inside but the party animal is dying to get this show on the road!  I just need to know next week's challenge and I have every intention of taking advantage of the exercise classes available to me.  In fact it will be a nice change of pace.  I've been writing down my food instead of logging it on an app lately so that won't be too different.  I plan to come home weighing the same or less.  I do NOT want to gain 5 lbs!  Anyway, we're leaving Saturday night and you probably won't hear from me for a good week unless I find a cheap internet cafe at one of the ports.  Have a great week friends.


Flexor carpi radialis

When I was in high school I was a swimmer. Long distance freestyle was my thing. There was one muscle in particular that I thought was really cool because it was nice and toned from swimming. Looking it up right now I learned that it's called the flexor carpi radialis muscle, located on the underside of the forearm, sort of toward the elbow. It helps flex and move the hand and wrist. So when you're swimming freestyle, every time you stroke, you're working that muscle as you pull through the water. I haven't had much contact with my friend flexor carpi in quite some time, many years, in fact. The other day I had my hand up at 12 'o clock on the steering wheel and I had an itch on my arm. Lo and behold, there was my old friend! I can feel the muscle definition in my arm now! It was an exciting moment and in the last few weeks as I've been practicing swimming again it's been getting so much stronger. Talking with my husband, he knew the muscles I was referencing but instead of swimming muscles he called them his piano playing muscles. Kind of a silly thing to be excited about, but hey, you gotta recognize your successes where you can. I'll bet everyone in this challenge could find a small but significant change like this to be excited about!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is all sugar equal?

Thanks for this week's timely challenge Stephanie! I need it!
One thing I dislike about logging food in My Fitness Pal is that it doesn't decipher a difference between sugar from fruit, or honey, or corn syrup, or whatever. My favorite granola has more grams of sugar than my favorite candy bar. A freshly picked apple has twice as many as both! (around 18 if you're wondering) I need to read up more on how your body processes sugar, but isn't the apple better than both other choices?

30 calorie donut rides again

Sooo Monday was a teacher training!! DONUTS and TREATS.  That is what is supposed to keep these trainings interesting. I brought my giant water bottle (with Lime oil because then it taste yummy and you think you have a treat) to combat the DONUTS! Really I don't like donuts unless they are apple fritters and nobody buys those.  So through the WHOLE meeting all I could think about was how to eat a DONUT in 30 calories!! Imagine all the teachers running to the garbage to spit out their dough globs after they have sucked and savored the donut taste!! I guess the DONUT did keep me entertained during the teacher training just not on a sugar high! SWEET!!

What inspires me and keeps me going---
1. Whoever suggested Livestrong to track food and calories!!!  LOVE IT!!
2. Peoples post-- I love hearing things that are working.  Clearly some of them save me from eating donuts!
3. MY reward!!  If I win money I am going to use it to buy a new exercise system!  PIYO-- anybody heard of it.  I really want to try it! (Some of you that know my family are thinking I am crazy right now!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 5 Results and Prize Winner

  A lot of times when people report their scores to me they share a little about how their week has gone.  I got the feeling that this past week was hard!  Some are frustrated with hitting plateaus in losing pounds or inches, others are finding it hard to stay motivated at this point in the challenge.  I invite everyone this week to share on the blog any advice you may have, any success you are experiencing, or just a little encouragement.  Let's help each other keep up the great momentum from the first month and keep moving forward!

   Here are the current standings after Week 5:  
1.        Jeff - 495
2.       Cindy - 494
3.       Jenni F. - 492
4.       Stephanie -486
5.       Bekki - 475
6.       Elise - 474
7.       Ally - 471.5
8.       Sariah - 469
9.       Leisel - 455.5
10.   Melanie - 446
11.   LauriAnn - 438.5
12.   Heather - 436.5
13.   Clark - 435
David - 435
14.   Carrie - 355.5
15.   Molly - 333
16.   Mary - 302
17.   Kimberly - 294.5
18.   Jessica - 240
19.   Katie - 238
20.   Sarah - 229
21.   Summer - 220
22.   Ingrid - 184
23.   Karen - 176
24.   Jenny W. - 128
25.   Amber - 113.5

Week 5 Prize Winner ($10 CASH):
Today is my birthday!!!
 And I'm soooo excited to give one of you a present!!!
 This hat contains more than just birthday cheer...

 It has the names of all those who completed the group challenge last week:  

And the winner is...

Wahoo!  Congratulations!!!

Week 6 REALLY??? It is all becoming a BLUR

I'm starting to worry about what I might be forgetting???? Did I drink my water? Log FOOD? weigh/measure?? At 11 pm I thought I had done great and then remembered I had 32 oz's of water yet to drink! Really? Slug It Down!!! On the positive side My pants fit better - shirts are getting a little baggy - one of my chins is missing Keep up all the hard work! We are not even 1/2 way through! And remember to sweat the small stuff!!!! F Jeff

Do You Cook With Quinoa?

I have a huge bag of quinoa in my pantry that I purchased from Costco.  This week I'm trying to incorporate it more into my meals.  Last night I made chicken soup and instead of noodles I added quinoa.  It wasn't a perfect substitution, but was filling and tasty. I've also used quinoa as a rice substitute with stroganoff. I've been searching on Pinterest for more tasty recipes and I've attached one below that I'm going to try this week.

Here is an article than features seven benefits of eating quinoa:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html

And here is the recipe I'll be trying:

http://alidaskitchen.com/2014/03/27/broccoli-cheddar-quinoa-bites/

Do you eat quinoa?


Monday, October 27, 2014

Crazy

This week I anticipate my week getting crazy and I don't want to forget to post here for some easy points!! Over the last few weeks I have lost some VALUABLE points by making my personal goal something that I really DO need to work on! In summation - I made goals to work on some of my biggest weaknesses! It was so discouraging to come to the end of the day and realize I YET AGAIN didn't do my personal goal. It goes back to some very ingrained habits - that are just really hard to break! THIS week I made my goal much more manageable....still something I need to work on...but something I feel is attainable. I am so tired of losing those personal goal points! ARG! I know I need to stretch myself - but I gotta make it something realistic and within my reach!

I hope everyone's week goes well! Don't let the treats control you - YOU control the treats!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Late night cookies

In my opinion, one of the most important parts of breaking the over-eating habit, is to change your routine. For example, I love eating cookies and milk in the evening. Occasionally, I get into a habit of doing this several times per week. Since we started this challenge my schedule has been excessively hectic and my evenings have been filled with meetings and work. It's taken a lot of effort to go to the gym for an hour instead of sitting down for a few Oreos and a cold glass of milk.  I keep hoping the numbers on the scale will reflect this change in routine. 

Good luck this week. 

Recipe

 Okay, so I really liked Cindy's idea about making rice out of Cauliflower, or what she called "Caulirice".    So I tried it the other day and made caulirice to use in this recipe I really love.   
And it tasted awesome!!! I actually think I liked the taste of it better than if I had used rice. And I felt like I could fill up my plate because it was vegetables, not rice!
I am excited to substitute more rice recipes with Caulirice.

 Better than take-out Fried Rice

better-than-takeout chicken fried rice. homemade! no yucky msg. and its easy

Ingredients
  • 3 cups rice, prepared  (or in this case 3 cups prepared "Caulirice")
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup peas & carrots, frozen
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 3 cups cooked rice.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Stir fry until tender.
  4. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables.
  5. Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.

Not Eating After 8pm

OK, so this was harder then I thought it was going to be. I noticed that I did a lot of "snacking" after 8pm so I had to hold back several times this week. Two times, however, I gave myself permission to go ahead and eat after 8pm (which maybe wasn't a good idea either). The hard thing is trying to combine all of these weekly challenges into one week if possible. If I could do that, I would be doing so well right now with this challenge. Also, this was a bad week overall for me as I feel like I'm slowly losing focus and not writing down the food that I eat. Any advice on pulling myself from "just going through the motions" and doing it because I really nee to get in shape. Any good articles? Well, all I can do is try a little harder this net week to make a better effort. Here's to a better week!

The Power of Habit

One of the best books I have read this year was Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit.  He analyzes how habits work and describes how to break bad habits and develop new ones. It was a fascinating read that has made me look at some of my bad eating habits and why I sometimes struggle to make exercise a habit.  Check it out if you get a chance!  The Power of Habit

Another week down......

This week no eating after 8 was a little difficult but I did it :)
I can't believe we are halfway through the challenge already. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Positive Affirmations

I've heard the quote before, "change your thoughts, change your life."

But have you ever heard "change your water bottle, change your life?"
I've been drinking my water from my short and pudgy 32 oz. Powerade bottle.  Clark came home from work with this 32 oz. tall and svelte Smart Water bottle.  Putting them next to each other totally cracked me up.  Our boys quickly noticed the differences and made a few comments.  Clark pointed out that he was just trying to think positive while he drinks his 64 ounces.

I really do believe in the power of positive thinking.  Hope you are all smiling and healthy this week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Froggy

Here is an example of the froggy exercise that you were wondering about Stephanie!  Except we were on a bench and the ball was a dumbbell.

Also, I just can't get enough of Tracey Mallett.  Right now I am really digging her pilates video.  I find pilates really healing and soothing but much more dynamic than yoga.  Yoga actually drives me nuts.  And my knee doesn't swell afterwards!  Yay!

Trying new foods!

One of my favorite things about this challenge is all the new recipes I've been trying. We're eating way more veggies than ever before and I'm enjoying (almost) everything I cook! There were a couple duds, namely a Thai carrot soup (gross), but we've had a lot of successes. Last night we had beets for the very first time and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised:


This dish was boiled beets and red potatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley, topped with over-easy eggs. Colorful, easy and so yummy! I expected beets to have a stronger flavor, but they were really similar to potatoes, and apparently they are a fraction of the calories of potatoes. I see lots of potential there! The best part is how much we quoted the Office during this dinner. Beets. Bears. Battlestar Galactica. (10 brownie points if you know that episode)

I picked some turnips at a farm we visited this week. Haven't ever tried turnips either; hopefully they turn out as good as the beets! Happy healthy eating everyone!

Keeping Chins Up!

Most people after starting weight loss efforts lose steam after 5-6 weeks! Look at us! We are positive, helping each other and doing GREAT! I am lucky to be part of a group of people who are so AWESOME!!! Thanks gang.

My report is this: I have GOT to stay positive and focus on the little successes! I sometimes spend so much time and effort thinking about the mistakes I made, the food I ate too much of, etc. that I don't allow myself to feel GREAT about the things I do well! On one hand I feel bummed that I haven't lost MORE weight! On the other hand I am so grateful for the pounds (as few as they may be) that HAVE come off! I choose to find the positive!!

I appreciate Stephanie and all the hard work that goes into managing a big group of 'losers'! Thanks for the awesome way you are leading this group! You are an amazing example!!

Salad Dressing Repost

What is up with my salad dressing recipe?!

Here I'll try again...


juice from 2 limes
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 TBSP sugar or any other sweetner you want to use
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp oregano
3/4 cup canola oil - or another oil like olive or avocado
1 bunch fresh cilantro

Combine first five ingredients in the blender. Blend until combined - then slowly add the oil while the blender is running. Stop the blender, add the cilantro and blend until the cilantro is chopped and combined with the dressing.  Refrigerate for and hour or two before serving.

Super Yummy!!!

Weekly Personal Goals

So over the course of the last month I've chosen goals that were physical and spiritual in nature. This week I went for something totally different. We have lived in our house for 2+ years and I still have boxes that need to be unpacked and organization that needs to be done. So this week I have set a goal to spend one hour each day in my basement working on some of the boxes.  It is Thursday and I've spent four hours so far in the basement. I'm amazed with the progress I have made!  This challenge has been SO good for me in more that one way.  Thanks Stephanie for inviting me to join!!

What is your personal challenge this week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Donuts Really Do Have A Pit

Many do not know that Donuts really have a pit - if the pit is removed you can eat a Donut for 30 calories instead of 200 calories! Here is how you find the pit - there is usually one in each bite Take a bite of the Donut - Savor the icing and flavor - chew slow - the big dough gob that forms is the pit! Remove the pit and throw it away. Take the next bite savor the flavor and remove the pit - Keep finding the pits and you can enjoy a Donut for 30 calories Keep up the hard work!!! If you have lost 4 pounds to this point in the challenge you are doing well. If you have lost 8 pounds you are doing great!!! Less than 4 pounds you are underestimating the calories in your food! It is time in the challenge to double down and make it hurt!!! F Jeff

Week 4 Standings and Prize Winner

1So just so you all know I feel like I am the game maker from the Hunger Games when I come up with these weekly challenges!  What can I do to torture these people now, muah ha ha!  Just remember I'm skipping eating popcorn at the late movie too this week right there along with you.  I appreciate all of your feedback each week...if any of you have an idea for a great group challenge please let me know.

But now on to the standings and prize winner!


Week 4 Standings:
11.  Jeff - 396
22.  Cindy - 395
33.  Jenni F. 393
44.  Stephanie - 389
55.  Elise - 387
5 5.  Ally - 387
66.  David - 378
77.   Bekki - 376
S 7. Sariah - 376
88.   Leisel - 367.5
99.   Melanie - 363
110.   Clark - 356
111.  Heather - 354.5
112.  LauriAnn - 350.5
113.  Molly - 333
114.  Carrie - 259.5
   15.  Jessica - 240
1 16.  Sarah - 229
1  17.  Kimberly - 227
1 18.   Mary - 212
1 19.  Katie - 193
2 20.  Karen - 176
2 21.  Summer - 175
2 22.  Ingrid - 152
2 23.  Jenny W. - 128

2 24.  Amber - 113.5   
*
***There were a few of you I didn't hear from this week, so send me your points sometime this week and I will add it to the totals.


 Our weekly winner of the $5 TCBY card can be found here:

The names...

Ready to go!

Get a new JOB!!

Hope this doesn't offend anyone...
My daughter tells me that teachers all have big butts!!  THANKS!!
So I better change jobs. RIGHT!!!
We have been putting on a new metal roof...So I decided that I would see how many calories you burn being a roofer!  According to livestrong.com you burn over 600 calories an hour. NO WAY!!!
Last Saturday in 2 hours I went up and down a 20 foot ladder at least 100 times.  For 1 1/2 hours I was doing squats screwing in hundreds of screws!!!  I am not sure I really burned 600 calories every hour I was on the roof but I am still sore!  I am NOT becoming a roofer!!  I am still scared to death on the roof.  (Maybe I burned extra calories because I am so scared!)

We had a huge wind storm last night.  I guess my next career change gets to be leaf raker!! I know for sure that won't be a permanent job because I HATE IT!!! (I better find out how many calories I burn and put a smile on my face and get to work)

Travelling and Family

We made a quick visit to see family in Utah last weekend. Which is why I forgot to blog and lost 10 points, boo. So I'm doing it early this week and not letting those 10 points slip away.

I did go to a weightlifting cardio class with my sister while I was there to get my final strength training workout in. Wowza, I was so sore the next day. Good sore, if I didn't go on a hike which would have been easy, if only I didn't have a 40 pound kid on my shoulders.

Anyway, you can imagine my frustration when after all my valiant efforts, sore muscles, still food logging while traveling, skipping second cookies, getting up early while on vacation to achieve my exercise points, opting for celery and carrot sticks to stay awake while driving as opposed to hot tamales, well . . . I actually gained weight! BLURG!

I honestly felt so good about my efforts I should have skipped the weigh-in.

Anyway, no eating after 8 p.m.-here we go!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My experience with weight training in the past is that I won't subtract pounds but my clothes sure fit better,  My weights are random things like planters (emptying and moving them to storage), shovels (lifting full of dirt), hoes & rakes (moving full of leaves).  Well, you get the idea that I'm being very lazy by doing some necessary chores and trying to make- believe that it is effective weight training.  That's my kind of multi-tasking. (I notice my body hurts as much as it did when I regularly worked out at a gym; maybe it is weight training after all.)

Fight Sugar Cravings

   I have a serious weakness for sugar, and it becomes my nemesis when losing weight. I don't know about all of you, but if I am trying to watch what I eat, I begin to think about food all the time! To add to that, I get cranky without my sugar pick-me-ups. But... I know that if I really want to lose weight, I need to cut out almost all of that sugar.
  I just made this recipe for Healthy Buttermints, made with coconut oil and honey, and it is pretty tasty. The thought is that when your body is craving those empty-calorie, sugary treats, what it could really use is healthy fats, that will also help you stay full. The raw honey is an added nutritional bonus. I'm gonna try these this week when I have a craving! Hopefully they'll help!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Leg Day

I have been requested to post the workouts I get from the new weightlifting group!  In the end I think it will be easier for me to type it out than trying to get a picture of it up on here.  Enjoy!

LEG DAY

Warm up with 3x20 body weight squats

1) 4x12 reverse lunge with barbell
    4x12 laying hamstring curl

2) 4x10 squat (in rack)
    4x15 step up w/box & dumbbell (each leg)

3) 3x12 stiff leg dead lift (with barbell)
    3x20 mountain climbers

4) 4x10 leg push down
    4x8 froggy (with dumbbell if possible)

5) 3x15 sitting hamstring
    3x12 reverse hack squat

6) 3x12 cable kick back
    3x10 single stiff leg dead lift with dumbbell

7) 3x10 sumo squat on Smith Machine
    3x10 curtsy lunge with dumbbells


And this week I will learn and upper body workout.  Woo!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Struggling

     Ok, so the last few weeks have not been great for me.  My kids and I were sick one week and then the next week my sister-in-law came to visit. I am learning that I am definitely a social eater and am not good at all on focusing and recording on what I am eating when I am around other people.  So I ate a lot and ate a lot of junk food as well. Also didn't exercise very much.   I need to work on that. Especially with the holidays coming up. I don't want my eating to get out of control!
    I am motivated to start fresh this week and work hard and get back on track.    I loved the strength training challenge.  The best way I have found to lose weight in the past is to add that strength training to my routine. It is definitely something that is important!!

Strength training

Strength training can come in many forms.  For me this week in came as weight lifting, core strengthening physical therapy, and hiking with an almost-2-year-old strapped to my back.  It reminded me that sometimes the key to developing a healthy routine is variety.  I used to run a lot, but I've tried to find some other activities I can enjoy that provide more variety to my daily routine.

Good luck this week!

Stuck with a truck

This last Wednesday I went to Denver with the intent of having a nice lunch with my sister and to drop my Mother off with her best friend. I thought since I was down in Denver I would check on a piano for free! Well shortly after viewing the beautiful piece I realized that my truck wasn't running well. My sisters house wasn't far away so I decided to try and get there. Thankfully we got their safely. But then it was a three day ordeal of getting the truck towed, parts ordered, and finally fixed. Thank fully my sister has stairs and a house to clean up. So I was able to still work out while I stressed out. So glad we weren't stuck on the free way or in a hotel with nothing to do. I am not sure I made any progress last week, but this we I am going to rock out and make my goal!

Sun's out, guns out

I, too, had way more success with the weightlifting challenge.  I currently do not have time to go to the gym so I do my weight training at home.  I bought 3, 5, 8, and 10 lb. dumbbells several years ago and that has been great (until my husband complains when we move and I have thrown them all in the same box, ha ha). Lately I have been doing 5 minute target toning videos on YouTube (shoulders, back, chest, outer thighs and hips, and inner thighs). I felt like the repetitions weren't enough so I do each workout 2 times and then add in an intense 10 minute arm workout to get a full hour in. I like the 5 minute segments because I frequently get interrupted by small children and the short workouts give me good stopping points. I realized long ago that for any workout to be successful for me it was going to have to convenient. I am hoping when the little guys get a bit bigger I can hit some bigger weights at the gym. I have really only done cardio until the last couple of years, but I have come to enjoy weight training.

Week 4 Down

Hey all,

Just a quick update from last week and this week. So, not eating snacks was sooo hard for me! I realized just how much I eat snacks during the day, and I feel like its so good for me to pass them up.So, just one example. I was doing a training that week for work and that a big bowl of reese's, snickers, trailmix, granola bars, and others snacks that we could get at any time.I really wanted the snacks and gave myself just about every excuse in the book to just go ahead and indulge myself. But I made the whole training with no snacks! This week's challenge was not as difficult, however, except for the fact that I don't have any weights at home to get as good of a workout as I would like. This next's weeks challenge might be hard as well, but I'm looking for ward to it. Maybe I can combine all of these challenges into one week. Yeah, that'd be nice. Good luck to everyone for this next week!

-David

Going out of town stinks!

I had really hoped to stay on track with my eating while out of town for six days with my family. The first day was fine and then it began to get harder....kids wanting Wendy's and Chinese food didn't help my healthy eating plans.  Now I'm back and back on track.

I mentioned earlier that I've been eating a lot of salads so I thought I'd share a homemade salad dressing that I LOVE!

Juice from 2 limes
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
3 T sugar or honey or agave or truvia
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t oregano
3/4 C canola oil or another oil that you like, I usually use olive or avocado
1 bunch fresh cilantro

Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender.  Blend until combined--then slowly add oil while the blender is running.  Stop the blender, add the cilantro and then blend until the cilantro is chopped and combined with the dressing.  Refrigerate for at least an hour or two before serving.


Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Timely!

Just when Stephanie announced the group weight training challenge,  the gym I go to started a women's Saturday morning weight lifting class!  Perfect!  I have stayed away from the weight room both because it's been so long since I've lifted AND had no idea what I was supposed to do anymore.  The first class was today and though I can't squat or lunge as deep as I'm supposed to with my knee, boy howdy I still felt the burn.

Our instructor passed out papers with all of the super sets listed and then demonstrated each one.  I'm excited that I can bring that workout list with me and do it on my own now that I know what they mean.  So pumped you guys!


I am woman, Hear me roar

I love this strength training thing- I'm usually one who loves a good run for exercise, but I feel like my body needed this change up.

So I'm getting stronger and faster and all, but I still have a hard time staying away from my end of the day snacking on crap. Thing is, I do so good all day, probably not eating enough I guess, because by the time the night comes, I'm a STARVING MANIAC!! 

dang it. Next week's challenge will be helpful, and I need to buy healthier snacks-

How do you eat healthier without breaking the bank???
I need help!

Success of the week: seeing some definition in my arms, which hasn't happened since the mission! yay!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Good Read!

My friend in Utah is also trying very hard to get off some extra pounds. She sent me this short article and I thought I'd share. It's worth reading and taking to heart.
~Elise


By Diane Petrella, MSW

If you monitor your weight loss progress, you probably look to your bathroom scale for feedback. Or perhaps you gauge pounds lost by how your clothes feel. While these visible indicators show you’re releasing weight, they don’t reveal the whole story. As any yo-yo dieter knows, these progress markers can come and go. Some other signs of success, however, aren’t so obvious, but once you achieve them they’re with you forever. A missing element in many weight loss approaches is developing your inner strength. You’ll reach your weight loss goal more easily when you erase negativity and doubt from your mind. Here are five signs that prove you’ve done so.

1. You Have Patience Many people feel discouraged when they hit a plateau or the pounds don’t come off fast enough. They then give up too quickly. Permanent weight loss takes time. When you feel defeated re-evaluate your nutrition and exercise plan, and have patience. Optimal health requires time to change old ways of thinking that contributed to gaining weight in the first place. Patience helps you do that.

2. You Persevere Through Set-backs As you develop new lifestyle habits, you may falter sometimes. We all do. It doesn’t matter that you slip; what matters is what you do about it. Use set-backs as a valuable opportunity to strengthen your strong side. Each time you persevere, you develop confidence. You weaken that taunting inner voice that says, “See, you can’t do this.” Perseverance responds, “Yes, I can”.

3. You Accept Your Body Accepting your body doesn’t mean you tolerate being overweight. It means you honor your body as it is, while helping it become the best it can be. If it’s a big leap right now to “love” or even “like” your body, that’s OK. What’s important is to respect it. That means speaking to your body with kind words. It means giving it nutritious foods and movement so it thrives. You’ll reach your weight loss goals when you stop rebelling against your body. As you accept your body as the treasured gift it is, taking good care of it becomes your only option.

4. You Focus on Your Goal Focus on where you’re headed instead of obsessing about where you are. You can’t move forward if your mind dwells on self-critical thoughts about being overweight. Shift negative attention away from your current weight and concentrate on the positive lifestyle changes you’re making. When your desire to look forward overshadows the tendency to complain about where you are, you’ll reach your goal more easily.

5. You Make Yourself a Priority To achieve weight loss success, your well-being must be of prime importance. This means setting boundaries. For example, if you plan to exercise after work and your friend asks to go shopping, what do you do? Do you skip exercise or do you skip shopping? If breaking promises to yourself becomes a pattern, you’re either not committed to your goals or you make other people’s needs more important than your own. When you make yourself a priority, you’ll not only reach your weight loss goal, your success will last forever.

Work!

I made this poster for my 1st grader at the beginning of the school year.  We talked about tiny little ants and how strong they are because they work so hard.  We were trying to motivate him to keep learning to read and write- things that he doesn't enjoy so much because they are hard.  Well fast forward a few months, looking at this in a little frame on our kitchen counter everyday has proved to be motivating for me too!  Before this challenge I was having some major anxiety attacks about my weight and what I felt was my inability to lose weight.  Before starting this challenge I had met with an endocrinologist to have my hormone levels checked.  My hormones aren't super conducive to weight loss at the moment, but that doesn't mean I can't do it...it just won't happen as easily for me as it had in the past...and shocker, I'm going to have to WORK!

In the past I would say, "Ok, this month I will lose 10 lbs."  That has never happened...but I'm happy to report that if I can lose .2 lbs by Monday, I will have lost 10 lbs. in 4 weeks!!!  Crazy how weight loss started working when I started working too.  I have a pair of jeans in my closet that were too small at the beginning of the challenge, I try them on each time I weigh myself and do my measurements.  Today I felt they fit well enough to wear in public!!!  Yahoo!

In answer to Summer's question about sharing...YES!  Share your successes!  Share your victories!  Share what's hard!  I know for me it is motivating to read all of your posts!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

So there I was minding my own calories and a guy comes into the meeting with some BIG THICK CC Cookies! Wow I quickly split one in half thinking I can afford 150 calories - Cooked perfect - WOW!!!! I ate slow - small bites - savoring every morsel. 10 minutes later I figured out I had violated the all fruit and nut rule!!!! Then I remembered the all fruit and nut rule was just 5 out of 7 days - Big Smile!!! Any regrets - my only regret is that I did not eat the entire cookie. My motto: if a desert is a 10 go for it! Next week I may share my secret on how to enjoy a donut for only 30 calories. Is this challenge feeling looooong to anyone else???? Keep up the efforts!!!! F Jeff

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Share success

I'm curious if we are allowed to share what weight we are losing or any other success. I went down a belt hole in my belt I always wear. I am going to Mexico in 18 days for my sister in laws 40th Bday party. I would love to have lost some weight by then. I bought a bunch of new clothes for my birthday but I bought them a size smaller than I currently wear to encourage me. Here's to fitting into my new stuff by the end of the challenge! If you want a fun new workout using weights and your own body weight Sarah and I follow a girl on Instagram that has a week free of her workouts on her websites, her name is Kayla Itsines.
Last week was a rough one for me. I didn't eat amazing and didn't exercise at all. I was visiting my mom in Utah and helping to take care of her while she's going through Chemo. I'm an emotional eater I am finding so I'm trying to find ways to deal with stress and emotions without turning to food. But darn it sometimes it just makes you feel better. I'm hoping to turn to exercise to deal with stress. This week my tip would be to have fresh, healthy food prepped and ready to eat in your fridge so you have no excuse to eat the bad stuff.

Working out with weights

My favorite work outs with weights are usually from the FIRM collection!  However I have learned to love/hate Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones!  It was free on Amazon prime but they pulled it off YESTERDAY!!! I was going to do it three times this week and not cry but now I am going to have to go buy it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 3 Standings and Prize Winner

Happy Week 4 everyone!  In just a few days we will be a third of the way done with this challenge!  I love hearing back from a few of you each week about your awesome progress!  Word on the street is that clothes are getting bigger, and belts are getting tighter!

Here are the standings after Week 3:

***If you didn't get me your report yet, don't quit!  Just send it to me sometime this week and I will add it to your score to post for next week!

1.  Jeff - 297
2.  Jenni F. - 296
2.  Cindy - 296
3.  Stephanie - 292
3.  Elise - 292
4.  Ally - 289
5.  David - 282
5.  Bekki - 282
5.  Sariah - 282
6.  Leisel - 271.5
7.  Heather - 269.5
8.  Clark - 269
9.  Melanie - 265
10.  LauriAnn - 257.5
11.  Molly - 254
12.  Sarah - 229
13.  Mary - 212
14.  Carrie - 206.5
15.  Jessica - 181
16.  Kimberly - 178.5
17.  Katie - 152
18.  Jenny W. - 128
19.  Ingrid - 120
20.  Amber - 113.5

Not Yet Reported:
Karen
Summer
Justin
Collin

Thanks to everyone who posted a snack or recipe on the blog last week!  You were all in for the drawing for the movie pass!  Here is our prize winner this week:


Keep up the good work!

Goals + Rewards

   I've read articles about how important it is to reward yourself for completing your goals. I love having something to look forward to. For example, I found a pair of earrings I'll allow myself to buy after I've lost 5 pounds. Also, this might not motivate everyone, but a couple months ago I bought a beautiful skirt that is a size or two too small. I tried it on for church Sunday, and it still didn't fit! Boo. But... it's getting closer to fitting, and that motivates me to work hard so I'll get to wear it someday soon.
   I hope everyone is seeing small changes in themselves. I definitely feel more energy in myself. Last week was stinkin' tough, and I felt a little ornery without my mid-afternoon chocolate pick-me-up, but I'm glad Stephanie picked something challenging. Keep up all the good work folks!

**I liked THIS short article on benefits of rewards.

What are your weekly goals?

I know it might be hard to believe, what with his big smile and all, but this little stinker screamed for almost 4 hours straight last night, from 3:30-7:30 (and is currently screaming now...). So unless I can squeeze in, say, a 4 hour nap sometime today, I won't be getting all my sleep points this week. This kid had better be teething or have a really good excuse for torturing me...

Last week was tough for me because we had family in town. Every night after we put the kids down we would gather around the table to play games and pig out on snacks. My self control was seriously tested!! This week should be easier, assuming of course that all subsequent nights are better than this last one.

I've been wondering what kinds of personal goals everyone has been setting. This week I decided that I needed to work on incorporating stretching into my daily routine. This should help me not to be so sore after intense workouts. What personal goals have you all been setting??

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Snacks

 Ok, so some of my favorite healthy snacks that make me feel good inside are just plain and simple.  Either a fruit and/or vegetable with some sort of protein like almonds, peanut butter, string cheese, etc.   The protein keeps me full for longer and they are super tasty.
 
   I also like these apple "cookies".  I am such a sweet person and a sucker for cookies and treats so I like these because it is like a treat to me, but so much more healthy. A perfect after school snack for my kids and perfect snack for that time of day when I am craving something sweet.

Slice an apple in circles instead of wedges.  Cut out the center core part.  Spread peanut butter on top and then you can top with whatever you want.  A few chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut, almond slices, or walnuts.
apple cookies

White Bean Dip

1- 15 oz can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c. diced red onion
1 tomato, diced
3 Tb olive oil
2 Tb balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt (if needed)
1.4 tsp pepper

Gently mix all ingredients together.  Serve with whole-grain toast or crackers or tuck into celery sticks.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Presto Pesto

I love fresh herbs. My favorite recipe is for fresh garden pesto.
1 box of Whole Grain Pasta cooked
1 small box of grape or cherry tomato's
1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves of Garlic minced
2-3 cups of basil leaves
Begin by lightly toasting the pine nuts in a Tablespoon of Olive Oil. Set aside. Place washed basil leaves into a food processer. Pulse 3-5 times and slowly add the olive oil. Add the garlic and pulse. The texture should be smooth but not creamy. Combine all remaining ingredients in a boil with the cooked and cooled pasta. Use sun dried tomatoes for a deeper flavor.

Mexican Haystacks


I am terrible when it comes to snacks so I will share a healthy meal recipe.  My favorite healthy dinner recipe at the moment is Mexican Haystacks.  I found this on Pinterest and it is a easy, healthy, crowd pleaser.  

Mexican Haystacks

RICE
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 bunch fresh cilantro

MEAT
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups salsa (I used Kirkland organic salsa from Costco)

TOPPINGS
1-2 avocados, chopped
1-2 red peppers, chopped
1-2 ripe mangoes, chopped
fresh cilantro for garnish

Start your brown rice in a pot on the stove, or in a rice maker. Next, add ground turkey and chopped onion to a large saute pan. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper. When the turkey is browned, add 4 cups of salsa. Bring the salsa to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, chop the cilantro, pepper, avocado, and mango. When the rice is done, simply stir in almost all of the fresh cilantro, leaving just enough to garnish each dish. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Better than Bad for You

Doing this healthy snack challenge this week I realize I don't really NEED any of these snacks I'm now going to post...but let me explain.
This brand of corn chips has less than half the calories of the competitor brands...and only a couple of ingredients that are all recognizable.  So if your friend Heather makes you some delicious, nutritious homemade salsa and you need a few chips to dip, reach for these!

The cocoa almonds are so yummy!  They are just lightly dusted with cocoa, I'm sure healthier than ones totally covered in chocolate?  If I am having a chocolate craving, I can eat a couple of these and it goes away.  You get a little protein too.

These coconut Outshine bars are amazing!  Chunks of coconut in each bite, creamy enough to make you feel like you are indulging in ice cream but fewer calories and fat.

Raspberries and Granola

My tip is simple. I love chocolate. I love Snickers. I love Reese's. I LOVE Oreos. However, none of those were legal outside of meal times this week, and I'm usually sufficiently full after meals to not feel the need to eat dessert right away. So I had to come up with something I could enjoy.

Enter raspberries and granola. I like sweet and I like tangy. I also like crunchy. Raspberries and granola provide the perfect mix and make for a quick snack that gives you a little energy and a little kick in the rear to keep pushing to be healthy.

Of course, at a work dinner tonight I did enjoy that chocolate mousse they offered!

Keep working hard everyone. I had to take in the belt a notch this week. We can do this!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

super simple grilled chicken recipe

This week has been a bit of a challenge.......my husband baked cookies the other night and I could not resist, they smelled so good....and I had one it was so good and for 1 cookie it was 120 calories but I still stayed under my caloric intake for the day....

The recipe I want to share is Super Simple Grilled Chicken:
3 tbsp. soy sauce light
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp honey
Optional - 1 glove minced garlic; 1 tsp minced fresh ginger

place all ingredients for marinade in ziploc bag; add chicken and marinate one hr to overnight
preheat grill to a medium heat; grill 2-3 min on each side until done :)




Caulirice

Since this challenge started I have been trying all kinds of healthy recipes I've gotten from friends and Pinterest. Perhaps my favorite discovery has been caulirice--"rice" made with cauliflower. I know it doesn't sound all that great but believe me, it is delicious!

This is how I make it: Grate a raw head of cauliflower with a cheese grater (using a food processor would probably be easier but I don't have one). Put in a large skillet with a tablespoon or two of butter. Saute for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper. Yum!! We've used this as a substitute for rice in both Hawaiian haystacks and a sesame chicken dish. It's lighter, not nearly as dense as rice, but has a very mild flavor and tastes really good. My husband likes it, and my brother and sister in law who have been visiting tried it this week and liked it too. Caulirice for the win!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Homemade Hummus

Hummus is a great snack dip or a spread for your sandwich instead of mayo or other non-nutritional flavor enhancers.

The best recipe for hummus, in my opinion, comes from The Moosewood Cookbook. I love this cookbook for lots of delicious vegetarian recipes. Luckily, so I don't have to type it up from my book, I found a place on the internets with instructions for this tasty dip.

Moosewood Hummus



You can do lots of stuff to hummus and make it to your liking. I prefer to toast the garlic in a pan in its skin, let cool then peel it before I add it.  This sweetens it up and takes away some of the bite.  Add some roasted red peppers, tasty olives or green onions. So many delicious options.

I have also made a yogurt hummus dip.  You can use less tahini and leave out the bean liquid and use a plain yogurt to make it creamier and a little lower in fat.

Meat Substitutions



Some of my favorite things to eat are ribeye steaks, brisket, and BBQ of any kind.  But as much as I love these things, I definitely don't want to increase my risk of heart disease, and so I reserve my favorite high-cholesterol foods for special occasions.

So, during a regular (non-special occasion) week, I look to use meat substitutions as much as possible.


My absolute favorite is Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles.  (Top left hand corner.)  One bag is equivalent to 1 pound of ground beef, and comes already in beef crumble form.  The majority of your meat substitutions can be found in the freezer section, so I usually have at least six bags of the crumbles in my freezer at a time.  Any recipe that calls for ground beef, I always substitute with the veggie crumbles.  The best part is that it looks and tastes like seasoned ground beef, and has 90% less fat than traditional ground beef.

I also choose meat substitutions for our daily lunches.  Both of my boys, (13 months, and 2 years old), love to eat the following for lunch.

beefless slider
These are mini hamburgers, and the perfect portion size for them.  Meatless again, they look and taste just like hamburgers.  Well, they taste like a lean, healthy hamburger.

My favorite lunches are - 


These taste even better than traditional chicken nuggets!  They are soooo yummy!


And these are amazing!  Whenever I crave a corn dog, I can eat my veggie dog without the worry of what exactly is in the "hot dog" portion.

Even if you are not a vegetarian, you can take advantage of the benefits of eating meatless products!

And a side note... Some of my favorite snacks are yogurt with bananas, or hard boiled egg on toast.  

Lite Cool Whip!!!

I don't know if everyone will agree with me but this is what works at my house and the kids love it.  We love fruit salad but often times I mix a lite yogurt and 1/4 c. Lite Cool Whip then mix fruit in.  It becomes a dessert! (At least that is what my 5 year old says)  It helps me get dairy in my diet because I am not the biggest fan of milk!

My other Lite Cool Whip trick is called Nacho fruit salad.  We have it on taco night.  I add about 1 tbsp. of orange jello (just the mix) (You can use sugar free) to 1/4 c. of lite Cool Whip and mix fruit in. It makes the fruit look like it is covered in nacho cheese colored sauce! This is nach-o average fruit salad. (I know some of you are gagging right now! It works at my house though!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 2 Standings and Prize Winner

Only 2 weeks in and I am hearing stories of pounds and inches lost, tightening belts, and fitting into smaller pants.  The non-scale victories are awesome too...taking extra walks with the kiddos, getting those workouts in, saying no to that cookie you really didn't need!

This is getting exciting! 

Watch this video to find out who won the Target gift card from week 2:

Disclaimer:  We may have gotten a little creative this week.  Oh, and that mess you will see in our playroom is a visual effect, it really couldn't possibly have been that bad in real life. 




Week 2 Standings:
1.  Cindy - 198
1.  Elise - 198
1.  Jeff - 198
2.  Jenni F. - 197
2.  David - 197
3.  Stephanie - 194
4.  Ally - 190
5.  Bekki - 189
6.  Sariah - 188
7.  Heather - 182.5
8.  Clark - 181
9.  Sarah - 180
10.  Melanie - 179
11.  Leisel - 176.5
12.  LauriAnn - 173.5
13.  Molly - 164
14.  Mary - 143
15.  Summer - 141
16.  Carrie - 137.5
17.  Kimberly - 120
18.  Jessica - 107
19.  Karen - 102
20.  Amber - 101.5
21.  Jenny W. - 101
22.  Katie - 91
23.  Ingrid - 88
24.  Justin - N/R
25.  Collin - N/R


I watched an episode of The Biggest Loser recently and saw people dropping over 20 lbs. in a week.  It was almost more discouraging than inspiring.  For me the number on the scale moves oh so slowly!  But this isn't a sprint, this is a healthy lifestyle, and every effort is worth it!  Keep up the good work everyone!

Ups and Downs

The first two weeks of the challenge has certainly had it's ups and downs for us all! I find that I am SUPER motivated to do well from the time I wake up until dinner. At which point I tend to pile my plate too high, then eat a few more bites while I try to feed my youngest. I am trying hard to keep my chin up and stay positive with that 'inner monologue' (the voice in my head!).

My favorite go-to meal/snack right now involves cottage cheese. (THIS week it will NOT be a snack, but other times it has been a good one for me.) I enjoy having 1/2 cup cottage cheese with a diced up tomato. Also adding a banana in the morning is GREAT. I also love it plain. I just like cottage cheese! It is high in protein and low in sugar - so a great combo. I also really enjoy the Kroger Lite Greek Yogurt. Another great combo of high protein and low sugar.

Good luck everyone for another amazing week! Thanks for the support and help

Belt now fits in the next smaller hole - is that a good thing?

To my suprise I took up a notch on my belt this morning - gooood stuff!! I'm going hunting this week - recipe below - no snacks with M&M's??? Trail Mix??? I think I will pick the M&M's out of the trail mix and replace them with Advil??? I looked last night and found a tropical Nut and Fruit Trail Mix don't know how far up the mountain it will get me. By far one of the leanest red meats is Venison!! It is also organic, free range, and as long as Idaho keeps their Wolves in check it is renewable. Cut the Venison steaks into long pieces about the size of your index finger - shake on McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning (It does wonders with game meat) place the pieces in a baggie and let the seasoning work for a few hours in the fridge. Fire up the grill Place the pieces on low heat and turn often - they will cook in less than 5 minutes - DO NOT OVER COOK!!! Gooooood Stuff - Also on the grill in a little fry pan looking caddy slice up some Summer Squash - Zucchini - Asparagus - Mushrooms - and grill them up Great Lean Meal!!!! And the best part is - the hiking in the mountains counts as your exercise!!! Moderate Walking (3 mph) burns 300 calories/hr Jogging burns about 600 calories/hr Sitting burns about 100 calories/hr - (I don't think we can count this as exercise) Sleeping burns about 70 Cal/hr Walking the Golf Course carrying clubs about 325 Cal/hr Remember there are 3500 calories in one pound of fat - Keep Moving!!! And go heavy on the Advil! F Jeff

Monday, October 6, 2014

Breakfast!

So this week will be a challenge for me since we are heading out of town for five days and will be basically eating out for every meal while we are gone.  Hoping that my log sheet will be a reminder of what I need to be doing!

So I'd like to share another recipe this week (I couldn't read Stephanie's mind and should have saved my chicken recipe for this week).  And I'm sure some of you will read it and think, "wow, that's not healthy." Let me try and justify.....if I eat protein in the morning then I am usually full until lunch, never thinking about a snack all morning.  That is why I'm sharing this recipe. It is something you can bake ahead of time put in the freezer or fridge to quickly heat in the microwave as you are headed out the door. It will fill you up and tide you over until lunch!

Quiche Muffins (makes 12)

16 oz cottage cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour, feel free to substitute for flax meal or almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheese, any flavor will work
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, could use sausage, ham or turkey bacon
1/4 cup onion

Process cottage cheese in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs.  Add milk, flour, baking powder and salt to eggs and mix until smooth. Add egg mixture to cottage cheese and mix.  Stir in shredded cheese, bacon and onion.

Pour into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Store in the fridge or freezer.

You could also add other veggies like peppers or tomatoes!

Enjoy!!


Favorite Snacks

   I so love reading everyone's posts-- sharing successes and shortcomings. Last week was very easy for me. I never drink pop, so there was no temptation. Day one for this week was a fail. I made chocolate chip cookies and thought I could resist!
   I do love fruits and vegetables, so I'll try harder the rest of this week. One of my favorite healthy snacks is easy, filling, and cheap! I love carrots or celery sticks dipped in peanut butter. You MUST get the natural peanut butter that doesn't contain soybean or some other kind of oil. We also do a lot of smoothies around here. I use up whatever super ripe fruits we have, put in ice and honey, and add some flaxseed or chia seed (both are good for fiber and omegas.) Plus my girls will eat it!  I also love KIND bars for when we're in a hurry.  Almond Apricot is my favorite, but it might have a little brown rice syrup for sweetener. Still better than white sugar!
  **INVITATION** I rode the River Trail last Saturday and it was beautiful! It's supposed to be nice next Saturday too, and I want to ride again, maybe from the red barn on 71st to Windsor. It takes a little under two hours. Anyone up for that? I'm flexible on time.  --Ally

Week 2 Down

So this week, I didn't do so great with my calories as I was not required to track them like the week before. I should keep that up! Also, drinking sweet drinks was not a problem as I hardly drink sweet things anyways. I'm also noticing that its getting harder and harder for me to keep up with what I'm eating each day. I'm learning a lot about myself by doing these challenges such as:

1. I often wait until the last minute to do what I'm suppose to do (like drinking 20 oz or more of water right before bed, yeah not a good idea!)

2. I am a rule-follower. I'm very good at just following the rules to get the points and not doing it if its not required.

OK, so here's how I'm going to do better this week:

1. Drink water throughout the day (even though I hate drinking water in the morning!)
2. Do more of my exercise in the morning.
3. Keep track of calories again.
4. More intense exercising

Well, I already messed up for this week on snacks (ice cream doesn't count, right?) because I ate me some ice cream before checking what the challenge was. I just gotta do good the other days of the week. It's great for me to write this all down and reflect on each week. Good luck to all!

-David

Whoopsie.

I failed this last week's group challenge because I was not paying attention!  It wasn't until after I took a long draft of a delicious Coke that I realized I had already had my quota of naughty beverages that week.  :(  I feel like a big ol' nerfhearder! Too make up for it I will be stuffing myself silly with fruits and vegetables this week!

My absolute favorite healthy snack is mashed avocado with hot sauce on toast.  I actually eat it for lunch on the regular because it is pretty calorie dense.  Filling, delicious and super duper easy!


shhhnacks!

Hey everyone, you're all doing awesome!
Love reading your progress and struggles here- makes me feel like it's possible for all of us!

My favorite healthy snacks are edamame- tho I use so much soy sauce, it could cancel out hahah, carrots and ranch, and a couple handfuls of sugar snap peas. I struggle usually with my veggies, so I'm really gonna focus on getting enough of them and throwing in some salads here and there. I wish healthy eating wasn't so expensive, but my health is worth it!

Looking forward to reading everyone's ideas!

-Mel

On the move, sort of

Since I missed out on the easy 10 points last week, I decided to get the posting done first thing this week.  :)  The no sugary drinks was easy for me, the exercising was not.  I went on a lot of walks with my younger kids (3 and 5), but can't count it as a cardio workout since they were on their bike and trike.  :)  The good news is I took the time to go on walks with them.  Before the challenge, I would send them outside to play while I attended to my many household tasks.  So I look at the increased activity  and time spent with my kids as a win.  Here's to baby steps!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

saved by Stephanie

I hated giving up carbonated drinks.  I usually substitute a glass of half juice and half club soda if I'm trying to cut out sodas.  Just when I thought I was going to get that soda I was craving on my way home (after 5 days of meeting the challenge) my cell rings & it's my conscience in the voice of Stephanie who says "Hey, how's it going?"  I know mothers have eyes in the back of their heads but do daughters?

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This week had some ups and downs for me.

The Good:
*I easily ran 3 to 3 1/2 miles 3 times this week with the jogging stroller. My oldest daughter even asked to go with me once and we had a good time.
*I stayed under my calorie limit everyday this week with no problems.
*My 7 year old son did some yoga workouts with me. Pretty funny.

The Bad:
*My baby is not on board with the sleeping challenge. I know our sleep doesn't have to be consecutive, but I would prefer if mine was!
*I didn't set a very clear personal goal so I floundered with it. Lesson learned.

The Ugly
*I was cursing Stephanie by Thursday with the no soda challenge (sorry Steph!). I failed; but I think my rudimentary efforts will help me in my desire to gradually taper down in my consumption!

Health for the Whole Family

A few years ago I really got inspired to cut down on sugar and cut out all processed foods.  I've really wanted to have my whole family eat "real" food and be healthier, not just me.  It takes a while to get everyone on board and we are not quite all the way there but we are doing much better than we were just a year ago.  Here's a book I recommend to inspire you - no to alarm you to give up processed foods and drinks.  I promise it will be easier once you read this.  It's called Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss.  I also follow a blog that keeps me going on this journey.  I like that it's a blog so it's a quick read that helps me keep my goal in mind.  There is lots of information to get you started and you will see it's not a diet - just real food.  It's called 100 Days of Real Food.

-Molly

Saturday, October 4, 2014

So I wasn't really excited about no pop.  I have one energy drink a day and multiple can of diet soda.  But it has been easier to give up than I thought it would be.  I only craved sofa today.   I have really been trying to focus on my macros.  I need to hit certain percentages a day with my food.   Hope everyone had a great week!
Sarah

I went running!

For the first time since the challenge started (and a few months before) I was able to get out and run!  It felt great and I rand 3.5 miles only stopping at the crosswalks.  This may be a little victory for some but it was huge for me!

-Amber

Friday, October 3, 2014

My top 5 travel tips

I've been on the road traveling a lot the last 2 weeks.  I'll use that as an excuse for not achieving perfect points last week...and again this week...yeah, right.  :)  With all that traveling I've come up with my top 5 tips for keeping up with the Healthy for the Holidays challenge while traveling...David Letterman, eat your heart out!

5.  If you want to get all your sleep points don't let American Airlines cancel your non-stop noon flight from Denver to Chicago, then send you 1,000 miles in the wrong direction for a 2 hour lay-over in Los Angeles, then delay your 2nd flight 45 minutes, then let you sit on the tarmac for an additional 45 minutes, only to arrive 8 hours after your were originally scheduled.  Oh, and try not to stand in line for an hour waiting for a taxi to take you to your hotel.

4.  When you're trying to stay under your calorie limit, a breakfast of a tortilla with peanut butter is quite satisfying for several hours.

3.  Pretzel Crisps are a good snack to have with you on the road.  They are more satisfying than potato chips or chocolate, and 10 crisps are only 110 calories.

2.  Running in the pool is a great way to end a workout at the hotel.

1.  Save your sugar drink days for when you're out of town, and when it's time for a free day..ENJOY IT!