Thursday, January 12, 2012

Change is Guaranteed

Several of you have told me you want to see more pics of the food we are eating so here are a few pics. Just like the Ridge huh? OK so this first one looks loaded with fat and calories doesn't it? Makes you want to run for the treadmill screaming. Well, it's turkey polish sausage and homemade sourkraut. Hard to make you ask - certainly not. You slice cabbage up as seen here and add salt, more than you think you might need. Then you take a glass or pestle and beat the salted cabbage to bruise it. Burning calories like Sharon's kick boxing class already. Way to take your agressions out on that cabbage. Now that you are destressed you place a lid on top of it and add a couple of cans so that the plate squishes the cabbage. Let it sit out on the counter for up to a week, tasting it every few days and when it gets the right 'whang' you store it in a jar in the fridge for up to a month or two. In the summer it makes quicker than the winter because cold weather slows down the process. The health benefits....endless. This is an actual fermented process unlike a lot of the krauts you get in the store that are modified and sped up by using vinegar. Probiotics abound in this homemade version and eating a little every day will keep your gut all nice and healthy. This is similar to Kimchee in Korea and other various fermented foods eaten around the world. Americans have stopped eating fermented foods and it has hindered us in our gut health and healing process. Many think sourkraut made the right way will help to keep away cancer and other physical illnesses. I just think it tastes good!!! Much better than store bought;)
One of my favorites. Pasta. Yes we can still have it on occasion and this one is whole wheat. They tast much better than they use to but remember it's the serving size that counts. Only 1/2 a cup is a serving size. Really you have to check the carb count, because it varies from one to another. 15 grams of carbs is one serving. That means you have to check your cereal too. Did you know one serving on Grape Nuts has close to 50 grams of carbs!!! You have to read EVERYTHING! Don't let the front of the box fool ya! The sauce here is made with all kinds of veggies: Carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, tomato sauce and fresh basil and oregano out of our garden. The meat is ground turkey...what else! I am using Chef's guide for dressing. Our family loves ranch and if you saw this week's Biggest Loser you know Ranch Dressing can have up to 130 calories per serving. This one weighs in at 40 for one tablespoon! It's made with half Nayonaise and half Veginaise. Chef combines one jar of each and together they actually taste like real mayo! I use 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup mayo mix and ranch powder. You can make your own, but I was in a hurry. It is really similar to ranch and lets you feel like you are really eating;) I know you will ask so the rings on there are pickled bamboo, an oriental treat. My high school art teacher's mom make it and it is wonderful.
Breakfast??? Seriously??? Yes!!! The Israelis really know how to have a good breakfast. Except I'm missing the greek yogurt and hummus. Didn't have time to make those;) Israelis always eat 'salad' for breakfast. And by that I mean chunks of veggies without lettuce or dressing. Sometimes there is a little squirt of EVOO, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Very healthy.
MY LOVE! Jason's Deli;) This is the one restaurant I can eat out at and not gain 5 lbs the next morning. So it's about the only restaurant I do eat out at! I always get the salad bar and load up on fresh veggies. My extras are an egg, a little cottage cheese and reg cheese and sunflower seeds. I also love their roasted red pepper hummus, but I'm afraid to see what the calorie count is. I have kept putting off Googling it. Those little toasts are nummy with the hummus. I get the dressing on the side and dip my fork in it so I don't eat as much.
Chef Smart! I even made the soup, Chef would be proud of me. I usually forget the soup until about 15 minutes before we eat and by then it's too late;( Two happy customers! And they stayed full til supper too, just like at the Ridge.
The soup was Butternut Squash with cilantro. I used chicken stock, and onion, a butternut squash, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cilantro. I also think I added a few crushed red pepper flakes. Cook it all for about 20 minutes, blend it in food processor or blender and continue to cook down til it's thick.
Sloppy Toms. Sloppy Joe's made with ground turkey served on flat buns. The salad is kumquats, strawberries and mango with romaine and strawberry lemonade dressing. Chefs salad dressing recipe modified a little.
I really have seen a difference this week. I am starting to feel smaller and am down 5 lbs. I am guessing it's mostly fluid since that's what you lose first but I'll take it. I saw two people in the grocery store yesterday that I haven't seen face to face since I lost the weight and they both told me how good I looked and that is wonderful no matter when it happens. Continued confirmation that I didn't fail:)
Last Saturday our family processed a hog. Yes we drove to a farm, had it shot, loaded it into the pick up and drove to a friend's house where we skinned it, cut it up and now our freezer is full of yummy pork. OK I know it's not Chef Smart, but there are more mouths in this house than me;) I tried my hand at curing the bacon. Still in the works, I'll let ya know how it goes. That night after the hog adventure I started having pain in my chest and my heart rate was over 100 at times. Steve too my BP and it was 142/84, very high for me so we went to the ER and let them check me out. It wasn't a heart attack thank goodness, but they ended up keeping me over night to run some more bloodwork. That was very scary and I really think it could have ended up much worse if I had never lost the weight over the last year. Thank you again Fitness Ridge for saving my life;)
If you change something, change is guaranteed. Right? Nothing stays the same unless it stays the same. Are you staying the same or changing? Nothing says changes has to be fast. Change can be slow and steady and still be change. That being said, if you do nothing, well, you get nothing. Do something, anything, make the difference because you can and you are worth it. People are counting on being able to love you for a long time, but you need to love on yourself to get there. I love you too and hope whatever journey you are on it is paved like Stop Sign (Ridge humor). Beats the devil out of Three Ponds Overlook anyday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Got Peeps On My Side

Halloween with Little John, Frier Tuck, and Robin Hood
I looked back to see the most recent pic I had of me and this is it folks. We had the cameras out at Christmas and didn't take a single picture. Can you believe it??? I was proud of our meal choice though. My mom and I went in together to create a Charlois Steak House salad bar. We divided the ingredients and I made the dressings. We also had ham and duck, but the salad bar was the star of the night. The best part? I didn't feel like a chunky salt block the next morning;)
Now that the New Year is in full swing, it's time to get serious about training again. Thankful Goat Christmas shopping season is behind me, settled back into homeschool with the boys, and the Dr. gave me a full steam ahead on the workouts with my elbow...not my hip though. He has banned me from Zumba for a little while longer til we figure out what's really going on inside there. I can do yoga, stretch, and walk. No running. Ugh! He's killing me!!!
I arranged a phone chat with Jenn Morton at Fitness Ridge last night and a 25 minute session has helped me see so much clearer. Some of the best money I have spent this Christmas - BELIVE ME! If you have been keeping up with my blog you know that I kept having these thoughts that I had gained all my weight back. I started having these thoughts the day I got back from the Ridge. Jenn asked me what that would mean to me if I had gained all the weight back and I told her it took a lot financially to get me there for a month and a lot of time away from my family. To me, it would be like I failed myself, my family, and I wasted my money. But here's the thing. I DIDN'T! I didn't gain it all back. I'm within 5 lbs of my Fitness Ridge weight today. It is all in my head, but the head does take time to catch up with the body! She reminded me of the most important thing we learned at the Ridge: Calories In/Calories Out. It's math and you can't go wrong with it. So last night I strapped on the old Polar chest strap and set up a 24 hour calorie count. I just hit 16 hours and I'm at 1320. Dang those things could be made a little more comfortable for sleeping though;) Now I think I have one of the slowest metabolisms in the galaxy, but Jenn did my calorie deficits for the Ridge and each day I was there I averaged an 1,800 calorie deficit. EACH DAY! I can do this, yes I can. If I want to lose around 20 lbs before I go back to the Ridge in May all I have to do is have a deficit of 500 a day. If I'm burning around 2,000 just living life and I only eat 1,500 there's my deficit. Add exercise and I burn more.
It is simple but here's the thing. We live in an all or nothing society don't we? We are either all in or all out. We win or we fail. We dominate or we are a buffoon. Am I right? Learning this lifestyle is give and take, it's living a little and moderation moments. We blow our diet on Monday at lunch and think the whole week is blown. Psh, I'll start back next Monday. I realized, except for eating out (which will kill ya!), I have done pretty good. Yes the Christmas cookies called my name, but when I went to clean out the pantry after Christmas it was OK. Just a couple packages of pasta (whole wheat) and some crackers! Not bad really considering I live with a husband and two growing boys! We can have a little fun and learn to maintain, but when you hit that 5 lb hazard - Blow the whistle on yourself and reel it in. So...stop feeling guilty about whatever you did to yourself last week or last month and reach for that darn whistle. It's like the one attached to the life jacket on the cruise ship of life;) BLOW IT and signal for help. I did. I was feeling low and now Jenn and my doctor got me back on course.
On that note I just want to say I have some pretty amazing friends. Some of the best people a person could know actually! They are friends from high school, college, life, Fitness Ridge, and the list goes on. Some of these people I don't even know!!! We are friends on the Biggest Loser's Fitness Ridge Alumni page on facebook. Yes, they have one of those and you should go there right now if you haven't. You don't have to be an alumni to join and you can ask questions, get encouragement, and meet some really great peeps. OK, back to my friends...You have really been there for me the last year. Encouraging me on Facebook, in person, emails, and phone calls. Everything I've been through has brought me closer to being the me I want to be. And for that I thank you!!! If you were all here right now, I would throw a party in your honor!
Here's the last bit of homework Jenn gave me. BLOG!!! I had never blogged until Fitness Ridge, but I did it for a whole month and loved it. I posted pictures, and told how being there made me feel. I have that to look back at now and it helps so much. If you are thinking about going to the Ridge, give it a try. Yes I fell asleep at my computer a couple of times, but it was so worth it to have all that recorded. My friend Frances from the Ridge told me about a month after we had been home that it seemed like it was all a dream, I agreed. What we did, going out there, was crazy, but if I didn't have the blog it would seem even more dream like. I shall blog. I shall! I had stopped doing it much since there wasn't anything exciting happening, but Jenn helped me see that it's not so much for you guys as it is for me. Don't get me wrong, I love all the fame and fortune blogging has brought to me - ha LOL! Having had over 7,000 hits goes to your head, but then you wonder who in the world has been that interested in your life. So for all you blogstalkers out there, take heart, you can now once again live vicariously through my mundane life, looking at pictures of what I eat, where I hike, and when I help my three goats give birth in March. Hee! Yes, you are looking forward to that one aren't you;)
Every step counts. In my life and yours. In order for us to have a straighter path we need someone to come along side us and show us the way. We all need accountability. We all need friends for whatever our journey is. The New Year is here. Are we ready to show 2012 who's boss? Are we ready to have more fun living our lives this year than last? I am. In the words of one of my favorite TV characters ever, Jack Bauer, "Let's do this!"