Thursday, April 29, 2010

Canada's Food Guide - I'm lovin' it!

I am in love with eating Canada's Food Guide. It might not be helping me drop huge pounds. It's been a great behaviour modification tool. It's family friendly.

This week we setup our family Wall Pops white board with a simple grid. Our names across the top and the food groups down the side. Each block has the recommended number of that food group and enough room to check off the number of servings eaten.

It's a bit much for the 3 year old. Especially since she over eats for her 'age' but is probably bang on considering she's about a 4-year-olds size. The 6-year-old is learning it at school at the same time. She's getting it.

Maybe it's time for McDonalds to give up there "I'm lovin' it" theme and hand it over to something my family really all can love. The simplicity and healthy eating of the Canada Food Guide.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fight to the Finish: First week results

My Weigh In Results

Last week I weighed in at 220.2lbs. Today… 216.0lbs.
That's down! The right direction.
My attempt at math:
220.2 - 216 = 4.2lbs lost.

Then I used the calculator at fitwatch to figure out that is 1.91% of my bodyweight.

Goal 1 is to get below 200lbs, my first goal was 20.3lbs away.
Goal 2 is to get to my goal weight of 180lbs, my second goal is 40.2lbs away.
The % for these:
21% of the way to goal 1
10% of the way to to goal 2

This makes it sound achievable!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fight to the Finish: Blogger Battle Royale

Hanging around with the cool kids was really never my goal. But beating them? And beating them at their own 'game'? That's something I can get behind.

So when popular healthy living blogger Mische challenged No More Bacon's Ryan to a Fight to the Finish, I just knew I had to jump in. Especially with the trash talk. Love the trash talk.

So I am in, even though I can no longer find where I threw my hat in the ring. My starting weight was 220.2lbs. My goal is to smash through to 210lbs and try on a weight that starts with one hundred for the first time in my adult life.

With @jeninRL and @MrsFatass in on it, it can't help but be a fun way to inspire us all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fiber 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter Haystacks recipe

Craving a snack tonight and it had to be sweet. It's been a day of heavy exposure to sweets and goodies, but no eating. Tomorrow there's going to be cake, but today was just the torture of baking.

Fiber 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter Haystacks
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c low fat peanut butter
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 c Fiber 1 original cereal
  • 1/4 c coconut
  1. Mix Fiber 1 and coconut. In larger bowl.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, warm chocolate chips in microwave (about 1 minute).
  3. Add peanut butter to soft chocolate chips and microwave (about 1 minute).
  4. Stir in cocoa.
  5. Add chocolate and peanut butter to cereal mix. Stir until coated. If the mix is a bit wet, add more cereal.
  6. Place on cookie sheet or similar in 12 small piles.
  7. Refrigerate about 2 hours.
  8. Eat!

Really enjoyed the one I tried tonight. But it's worth noting that it was probably a shortage of water that has me craving the sweets. These seem like a much better choice then the chocolate chip cookies I wanted to make!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eating right instead of eating wrong

Eating right is a struggle for me.

Mary tweeted about grocery shopping everyday. She reminded me how far I've come. Not that many years ago I walked through a grocery store to get home everyday. My habit was to pick up supper and my 'snack' for the night. Usually large chips & dip, cookies, Smartfood, chocolate, or my favorite - cheesies. I often ate a large bag of cheesies in one night. Or two. But never three.

When Mary tweeted? My first thought was - wouldn't that be great - fresh fish every night. Quick access to fruit when you run out. Salads just waiting to be picked up. That was a great reminder of how far I've come.

But within a few minutes I knew that today I'd still much rather open a giant bag of cheesies then make a salad. It's hard to understand. The cheesies taste yucky. I feel yucky when I eat them. There's even an eating hangover where my body is dragging for eating them.

So I do the easiest thing possible. I don't buy cheesies. If they get left at my house after a party? They've been known to be opened and DUMPED IN THE GARBAGE. (Or dropped in a food bank box).

But removing the nasty food from the house is just creating a new bad behaviour. Lynn at Life Health Fitness called it Disordered Eating. Mine is less severe. I don't purge. But I do binge. There's a need to keep eating when I'm:
  • tired
  • bored
  • angry
  • alone or
  • with others

Sometimes I eat til I feel ill. I eat past the food tasting good. I eat when it makes me uncomfortable.

This behaviour? With the food hangovers, the yuck-factor? Gets in the way of my return to running. Slows me down. Makes me feel bad.

I'm going to beat it.

Eight years later, I can say that even if I lived IN a grocery store there will be no return to the daily intake of chips, chocolate or pop. That's a lifestyle change I've made.

And I'm keeping it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Veggies gone wild!

The challenge for April was about upping the veggie intake, but now the challenge got bigger. I've signed up for a program at the gym. It was supposed to be just a workout program, or so I thought.

But it's everything. And I'm now eating the Canadian Food Guide. For me that means:
  • Vegetables & Fruit - 7 to 8 servings
  • Grain Products - 6 to 7 servings
  • Milk & Alternatives - 2 servings
  • Meat & Alternatives - 2 servings
7 to 8 servings seems crazy. But I've mostly gotten it in since Saturday. Pretty proud of that. A little heavy on the fruit, but still, much better then my usual day. I'm ready for something to work for me. The trainer I'm working with lost 100lbs using the Canada Food Guide and exercise. This is the something to help me smash though the 220lb range down to below 210lbs. Think how much easier running will be when there's 10lbs gone!

Next I need to fill you in on how much water he has me drinking.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

OK2010A! Challenge #4 - Increasing veggies

Operation Kick 2010's Ass is commencing part IV.
Another month, another challenge. Are you ready?

This time we're back to a nutritional challenge. For the month of April your task is to eat two full servings of vegetables.

This is less than half of the recommended servings of vegetables each day. Two is better than none Two is nearly halfway to where you need to be.

Examples of one serving of vegetables:
five broccoli florets
ten baby carrots
one roma tomato
3/4 cup tomato juice
half of a baked sweet potato
one ear of corn
four slices of an onion
1 cup leafy greens

Potato does not count!

Here's a list of some interesting veggies. They can be canned, fresh or frozen.

Some suggestions for working your veggies in:
1. Soup with cabbage, spinach, carrots & celery something like the one I made but didn't eat
2. Spinach salad topped with strawberries, oranges & nuts
3. Roast cauliflower mashed half & half with boiled potato
4. Baked sweet potato done french fry style
5. Bake salmon with fennel and tomato.
6. Frozen stir fry veg with some soya sauce, oil, garlic, brown sugar or honey
7. Veggie fajitas
8. Roast root veggies and use on salad, quesadilla with feta, or on pasta with cream sauce
9. Caesar salad
10. Ants on a log

Hope you're in! Don't forget you're still working on
1. 30 min of activity a day
2. tracking food
3. squats challenge

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Running - Slow, Fat and (sometimes) in Pain

As promised in the bio this is a blog about a return to running. This month I made good on an early part of my plan. If I can't do it on my own, I need to get help.

So I've returned to the Running Room's Learn to Run program. It's what got me running outside last time. It's also where I met my running partner. My first night back I called speed dating. Only if there was someone as slow as me was I going to stick around. It was successful. And I was relatively fast!

We're three weeks in now and I'm not fast. At all. Not sure why I did so well the first night. Waiting for the magic to happen again.
The program to date is:

March 27th - Run 1 minute, Walk 2 minutes
April 3rd - Run 1 minute, Walk 1 minute x 10
April 10th - Run 2 minutes, Walk 1 minute x 7

You do your first at the time with the group on Saturday. Two more runs during the week on your own or with the Running Club at the Running Room. I've made it out to most Wednesday night runs at 6pm. Even made a Sunday morning.

This morning we tackle 3 min runs and 1 min walks. Wish me luck! I follow that up with a weigh and measure appointment for the Biggest Loser contest I've entered. It's going to be a big day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

OK2010A! Challenge #3 - Squat Challenge

Let's skip to #4. Since March is now over, it's official, the squat challenge was a failure. But here's the blog post I SHOULD have put up.

Operation Kick 2010's Ass is commencing part III. Every month gives you another chance to start fresh.

For the third challenge I want you to sit your way to success. We'll be taking on the 200 Squat Challenge. It's well documented at There's even an iPhone & iPod Touch app.

Your commitment to the Squat challenge will count toward the 30 minutes of activity a day you're doing for the January challenge. The recommend time for you to a lot to the program is 30 min week over 3 days/week.

Why squats?
  1. They're a functional exercise. They develop muscles and motions that we use ever day.
  2. You can attempt the challenge to suit yourself. If 200 is too easy you can ramp it up with bicep curls. Too hard and you can repeat a week.
  3. Squats don't require a special place. You can do them anywhere. No need to find a piece of floor to lay on. If need be you can lock yourself in a bathroom to get your squats done!
  4. Low cost. The only costs for the squat challenge is your time. No need to buy equipment or join a gym.
  5. Long-term commitment to health and fitness. The challenge will take as long as 6 weeks, taking us into the middle or April.
  6. Long-term success. Next time you take a core class, stability ball class or other fitness class you'll be laughing at the request for two sets of 12 squats. That's just over 10% of what you can do!

To recap:
January was about doing 30 minutes of activity everyday. You're still committed to getting'er done.
February created the habit of writing down your food each day. Keep it up!
March is about adding a functional exercise to make us all stronger at everyday tasks.

On your mark, get set, SQUAT!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Singapore Noodles Recipe

A go-to meal for me and the husband. Add in wonton soup and dumplings and sauce for the kids and it's a take-out cooked at home.

Singapore Noodles
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T peanut or canola or vegetable oil
  • 4-6 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 T slivered fresh ginger

  • 1 cup cooked match stick sliced protein of choice (chicken, pork, egg white)
  • 1 slivered onion
  • 1 slivered green pepper
  • 1 slivered red pepper
  • 2-3 carrots turned into strips with peeler
  • 1 sm zucchini turned into strips with peeler
  • add other veggies as desired peas, beans, green onions, etc

  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 3 T curry powder
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • package of rice vermicelli
  • boiling water
  1. Heat cooking oil in wok. Cook garlic, ginger and onion until tender.
  2. Start water boiling.
  3. Stir fry protein until hot. Add veggies as desired and cooked to desired tenderness.
  4. Make sauce with oyster sauce, curry powder, soy sauce. Add to veggies and protein.
  5. Follow directions for rice vermicelli. Add cooked vermicelli to wok with sauce and protein. Stir.
  6. Sit back and enjoy!

Would spaghetti squash noodles work instead of rice noodles? Let me know if you try it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Slow Cooker Challenge

Taking on more than reasonable seems to be my regular plan. School, sick kids, running and the gym keep me pretty busy. But a desire to be a real 'blogger' had me jumping up yelling, "Pick me! Pick me!" when Ali of Fat to Fit was looking for volunteers for the Health Slow Cooker Challenge. (She even has a pretty image that I don't know how to include.)

I did it! I did! My day was Sunday and I cranked up the crockpot just after midnight with my oatmeal for breakfast. But my excuses are almost as good for exercise as they are for blogging. It's almost the end of Wednesday and I'm just writing it up now.

So breakfast was a grand success. Inspired by Steve Dinn's success at losing 101 lbs in less than a year I have followed his breakfast habit of steel cut oats.
Steel Cut Oats
Sweet Ground Chocolate

Guess what? Steel cut oats are even better in the crockpot. I threw in a cup of PC steel cut oats and 3 1/2 cups of water and let it go all night. In the morning I dressed it up with a bit of sweetened cocoa and milk. Delicious!

Following that success I tackled an evening meal. I made my famous refrigerator soup. The recipe has many steps. Enough to write them in a loop.

if fridge is not empty:
---remove item from fridge
---if item is a soup ingredient
------put item in pot
---else place item on counter

Sundays soup was the result of a full fridge. It was full of wonderful health goodness. The ingredients included:
8 cup turkey stock
1 cup diced turkey

1/2 bag of frozen thai veggies
thinly cut spinach
roasted herbs
OXO beef package

left over roast veggies (onion, carrots, celery potato & sweet potato)
summer savory
bay leaves

It was delicious. From the one spoonful I ate I can tell you that.

But I'm tired. And stupid. And I make mistakes. So I tasted it. We went out for supper. I came back and FORGOT TO PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE. Found it the next morning. So it's deliciousness is now hanging out in my compost. So sad.

Thank you to Ali for letting me take part in the Slow Cooker Challenge. You can find more great Slow Cooker Challenge recipes at:
One Day at a Time
Fat to Fit
La Fuji Mama
Happiness is a Journey for Janna
Shari Rocks a Lot
Embracing Balance