Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's a 'thin" thing!!

Good morning everyone! Let me start by saying, that I hope everyone is doing well and working towards any personal goals they may have. I am really trying to lay off the wheat these days. Just to depuff ( is that a word??) and practice a little self restraint. Not sure I can do that for the long run, but some of the blogs I read really make me curious about the wheat free life. There are some remarkable stories of health restoration, weight loss, and general improvement in quality of life. I realize that having wheat readily available in rolls, wraps, and sandwich thins really make our life more convenient and easy. We are too busy to bake, and pre plan, and these products make our busy life easier. But do they make it healthier?

I have the book Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis. I am getting through it slowly, but I did see him on a TV show and he makes alot of sense. His recipes look great too. I figure going wheat free can be done, but it will take some practice and some research to make acceptable bread substitutions. I don't think I can do it 100% but I'd like to try and at least decrease my consumption and dependence on wheat products.

 So my first challenge was that I wanted a sandwich yesterday. Hard to do on a wheat free diet. I remembered a post from Dawn awhile back about the sandwich thins  she made using a recipe from Elana's pantry. So I pulled up the link below and set off to make a "thin' for my lunch.


The  main ingredients...eggs, almond flour, Swerve and a few other things.

This handy 1/4 cp spoon measures out even amounts.

Spread out the batter into a round shape. I sprinkled on some chia seeds for a poppy seed effect! Also, if you don't have a silpat or acceptable version of one, I highly recommend purchasing one  for all of your baking needs. It makes an amazing difference! Easy clean up too!

Carefull cut horizontally to make a top and a bottom. A serrated bread knife works great. See the spaghetti squash in the background? I nuked that for some "pasta". Great with a little butter and garlic....but I digress!!

Enjoy with your favorite sandwich filling! Here I cut up some leftover meatballs from dinner and added some shredded cheese.
I'd say it was a success!

Now I digress again. I love that word!!
 Helpful tips for magazine lovers:
On a side note, and totally unrelated to the rest of this post, I have a little tip for all of you magazine readers. I LOVE magazines. Subscriptions are so cheap, that if you pick up even two of most magazines sold in the supermarkets, over the course of a year, a subscription will save you tons of money. Often if you web search, you can get magazine subscriptions for about $10 dollars and sometimes less than that. Always web search. This is a great site called Magazine search that will let you know the lowest prices offered. Sometimes there is a coupon code too that you can put in and get even more off.
Another great tip is to then go to Amazon and your amazon account and there is a place to put all of your subscriptions, even those that you didn't purchase through Amazon ( although often they have great prices), and you can keep a nice, handy, organized list. When you log on, you know what is coming up for renewal, what price it is, and how many issues are left.
And here is my last tip. I was having coffee the other morning, looking through a stack of the latest magazines, and couldn't even get to the content with the many pages of advertising. Since I was headed to the beach, I went throught the magazines and quicky and neatly, ripped out all of the double sided magazine pages of advertisements. Of course this only works if both sides are advertisements. If you love the advertisements, you can look at them as you are ripping out. What you are left with, is a surprisingly thinner magazine, and the ability to just have content available without having to leaf through pages of advertisements to get to the articles you want to read. And it only takes a few minutes to do this. It made reading the magazine a much more pleasurable experience.
This is what the double sided advertisements looked like from three magazines! There was so much paper, and the magazines were so much thinner.
Maybe there is a message here. Get the junk out and your magazine, and you too, will be so much thinner!!
Thought for the day:
Just noticed that I have this quote on the bottom of my blog. I read it today and I realized I should be reading it everyday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Do we need a refresher?

Hello All!

Wow, I am reading some of the blogs and facebook pages, and there seems to be alot of us who for so many reasons ( school, stress, vacations) have fallen back to our old ways. Why did it seem so easy for all of us, and now we are struggling?

Remember sugar is an addictive thing. When we get too much, we start that roller coaster ride, as our sugar surges, then plummets. When this happens we crave more, and if we eat more, the cycle continues. It's hard to believe that I was at the point where cookies, sweets, and even fruit ( fructose is a form of sugar, even if there are some componets in the fruit, like fiber, which does slow down the impact on our blood sugar) didn't have any effect on me.

So let's get back to the Belly Fat Cure basics. 15 grams of sugar is all you should have for the day.  Even if you are not following the Belly Fat Cure, the current recommendations from the American Heart Association are listed below. One teaspoon of sugar is about 4.2 gms of sugar.

"The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons. The AHA recommendations focus on all added sugars, without singling out any particular types such as high-fructose corn syrup. For more detailed information and guidance on sugar intake limits, see the scientific statement in the August 2009 issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association."

I also found this article while web surfing. It's from BetterNutrition.com. and the article talks about Jorges' Belly Fat Cure plan, and gives a neat little synopsis of the guidelines.

"Eat Only a Little Sugar—Too much sugar elevates the hormone insulin, which leads to fat storage, especially around the belly. Aside from being cosmetically unappealing, belly fat is extremely dangerous because it increases the risks for diabetes, heart disease, infertility, and some cancers; weakens the immune system; and accelerates aging. Sugar also promotes an endless cycle of overeating and weight gain because it blunts release of the hormone leptin, which signals that we’ve eaten enough.
Researchers estimate that from the early days of civilization until about 200 years ago, humans ate no more than 15 grams of sugar per day, or about three teaspoons. In contrast, the average American now eats the equivalent of more than 47 teaspoons of sugar each day.
Cruise recommends returning to that 15-gram limit—about 5 grams for each major meal—as a realistic strategy that allows you to enjoy food while losing weight and keeping it off. But you have to pay attention to food labels. A single serving of flavored yogurt, for instance, can easily contain 25 grams of sugar. About 5 grams of that is lactose, a form of sugar naturally present in milk, and the rest comes from the flavoring. An unflavored Greek yogurt, on the other hand, comes in under the 5-gram limit. And it’s generally higher in protein than other varieties, which makes it more satiating.
Use Natural Sugar Alternatives—“I think artificial sweeteners are worse than white sugar,” says Cruise. For example, aspartame damages the neurological system. And sucralose, found in many “low carb” and “sugar free” foods, destroys good gut bacteria and contributes to bloating and irregularity. Instead, try natural sweeteners such as stevia and erythritol, as well as xylitol in small quantities.
Eat Smart Carbs—Cruise considers carbs from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to be an integral part of healthy eating. But only in moderation. Specifically, The Belly Fat Cure includes 6 servings of carbs per day, and defines one serving as between 5—20 grams of carbohydrates (under 5 grams doesn’t count)."

I'm reading Maria Emmerich's book Secrets to A Healthy Metabolism right now. I'm reading it slowly, as I seem to do everything these days, due to lack of time. It all makes so much sense. I don't know if I have it in me to give up whole grains and complex carbohydrates forever. Yet when I read articles like this paragraph below, I see that it might be the best choice for health.

"We all know that sugar is bad, but we mistakenly believe complex carbohydrates are healthy and we need to eat them in abundance. BUT what if I told you that "Complex carbohydrates" and "Whole Grains" are just glucose molecules hooked together in a long chain; the digestive track breaks it down into glucose...also known as sugar. So a "complex carb" diet and a "sugary" diet are pretty much the same thing.

Whole wheat bread is high in sugar, higher than some candy bars and sugary sodas, and some scientists have proven that two slices of whole wheat bread will raise your blood sugar levels as high as if you were eating a candy bar.

Sugars are the simplest form of carbohydrate; which can be natural such as lactose (milk sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar), or can be refined such as sucrose (table sugar). All starchy foods, like potatoes, and sweet foods, like fruits, raise blood sugar quickly. When digested they are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an increase in the hormone insulin. Insulin clears sugar and fat from the blood and to be stored in the tissues for future use. This causes weight gain. No matter where the carbohydrates come from; 4 grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of sugar in our body. Let me say that again…4 grams of carbohydrates equal 1 teaspoon of sugar in our body. So with that thought, a small Blizzard has 530 calories and 83 grams of carbohydrates; which equals 21 teaspoons of sugar. A nine ounce bag of potato chips equals 32 teaspoons of sugar!
Secrets To A Healthy Metabolism

Okay, that's alot of info to digest, but I think it's good to get back to the basics if we have fallen off the wagon a bit. Remember this is a journey. There will be bumps in the road, and we might even  get lost along the way, but we have the "MAP' for where we need to go. So revisit it and stay
 the course with your destination in mind. Get back on track with me! Don't give up!! We CAN do this!!!!  Sending you all love and hugs! XO

On a side note, Alice mentioned she couldn't get Jorge's new menu. Here is the link. I hope you can access it.


Here is a link for the free video that he sent as well:


Thought for the day:  In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through strength but by perseverance.
~ H. Jackson Brown


Monday, September 17, 2012

Ok people....Let's get it together!

Good morning everyone! I hadn't realized how long it's been since I sat down to write. First I would like to say I have followed everyone's blog, but haven't always made the time to comment. The lazy, hazy days of summer, didn't always seem that way. I am so sorry for Rosalie and the loss of her son. I can't even imagine what that feels like. I know how much we grieved, and still grieve for my sister-in-law and it continues to be a struggle. Prayers and positive thoughts go out to her and her family.

Since the wedding, things have not really settled down. I'm lucky to have a vacation home, and while I do relax alot when I'm there, it does take some time travelling back and forth, keeping food stocked at home and at the beach, and constant entertaining, cooking and laundry. First world problems as my son would say. Everything is relative.
 Now it's back to school time, and I spend a few days at my brothers each week, splitting the time with my mom, as my brothers children go back to middle school and high school and all the activities that go with out, all the while missing their beloved mom.

 Now for the issue at hand; our journey to better health. My, how easy it is to slip back into old habits. Not just with food, but with life.  You know it takes about 21 days to day to change a habit.
Why then can old habits slip back much more quickly, sometimes practically overnight? Because we are trying to change eating habits,  old eating patterns, and avoid foods that most of us grew up eating.  Those old traps are constantly surrounding us and tempting us back to our old ways. Sugar, white bread, processed carbohydrates are the enemies. It's not just moderation with these things. It can't be. Because once you let them back into your life, even for one day, then it makes the next day harder, and the next day harder still. It's alittle stumble, a tiny slip and before you know it, you have slid down the mountain you worked so hard to climb up. "I never eat that", can quickly change to "okay, maybe just this once." And therein lies the problem. The next thing you know, many good habits that you worked so  hard to establish have slipped by the wayside.

But there is good news! Everyday, and even every minute is a chance to start anew. No day is lost, no meal is blown,  no chance is gone. Put one foot in front of the other, write down your goals, because that makes them real, and get back to doing what you know you should. Write down what you want to accomplish, and how you are going to do it.

For me, this is how it's going to be today:

1) start the day pre breakfast with a long dog walk, and a short workout. Check out this app, Workout Trainer, by Skimble for some great guided workouts. If you have a table or Ipad it's great. You can play your music while you are working out too. There is an Android app too.

2) Eat a breakfast of two scrambled eggs eggs with some herbs, and a piece of flaxseed toast

3) Have a healthy salad with grilled chicken for lunch. I grilled some over the weekend, so it will be ready when I am!

4) Drink a big glass of water before each meal and three more through out the day. in between those meals. Water is critical for your metabolism and it helps curb your hunger and makes you feel full. Add a slice of lemon, lime or even an orange or cucumber.

5) Grill some shrimp and toss over spaghetti squash with some olive oil, parmesan cheese, and  fresh basil for dinner. Of course a glass of wine will pair perfectly with this!

6) Get to bed early tonight

7) Track my meals and exercise throughout the day on My Fitness Pal. This tool is a huge help. My Fat Secret is also another great site.

8) Pull out my Belly Fat Cure books and put them on my counter where I can see them and refer to them to keep me on track.

I can do this! You can do this! We have the tools, the knowledge and the support. Get back on track....now...this minute!!!!

Thought for the day:
People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.
~ Brian Tracy