Thursday, June 26, 2008


“Don’t just count your years, make your years count” –Ernest Meyers

Today is my 36th birthday. I cannot even begin to tell you how different my life is this year from last. This year, I actually feel 36 (or a bit younger) instead of 65. I can’t even remember my birthday last year it was such a non significant day. I was miserable and so depressed; I remember I was really hurting from the dog show event a few weeks prior. I didn’t feel like I had any value. I ate to suffocate my feelings (not that that was a new thing, I’d always done it, it just got worse last year). I was on a railcar to the bottom of a coal mine. I actually didn’t hit bottom until a month later (I started WW on July 23rd).

This year, I have learned what real friends are. I had them; I just didn’t see and appreciate them like I do now. Three people have already called and sung happy birthday to me this morning. Last night I actually played with my friends kids on their trampoline. I have never been on one before! These kids are teaching me its okay to be silly. I like that. You should have heard them chanting “Go Brenda, Go Brenda”. How cute is that?

So starting with this past year, I am making my years count. I am actually living my life, not just letting the days slip by. And to think that this is only one year into my “new life”, imagine how I’ll have the world by the tail this time next year.

What do I want for myself next year on my birthday? I want ore of what I have right now. More of being happy, more of loving my husband, family and dogs, more of being physically and mentally fit, more of trying new things, and more of enjoying every day.

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend High lights and Low lights.

Low lights first. I went to an auction looking for a new bike. I found a decent one, and decided I would go as high as $40 for it. I wandered around following the auctioneer watching the other items go when I looked behind me and there was a second auctioneer and he had just finished auctioning off the bikes. The bike I wanted went for $5! No, I didn’t forget to put a zero on the end of that number. This was a nice bike too. It had big shocks on the front, and on the rear wheels, as well as some kind of a suspension thing on the center bar. (Can you tell I know nothing about bikes?) It’s not that I really “need” a new bike, but would have been happy to pick something up. I guess it was not meant to be. I had to keep telling myself that so I didn't spit nails I was so mad when I realized what happened.

Another low light is that my big upright freezer went kaput this weekend. I think the seal went bad. I ate more meat this weekend than I have in months. I managed to fit most of the meat into our freezer in the house, and anything that was remotely looking freezer burned I cooked up for the dogs. The rest was freezer burned veggies and bread so we really didn’t lose much money. I am going to look for something smaller and more energy efficient to replace it.

One of my high lights of course includes my .4 pound loss on Saturday. I also picked strawberries on Saturday and that was quite enjoyable even if it was back breaking. The berries were only $1.40 per pound if you picked them yourself otherwise they are $3.50 per quart this season. Kind of pricey I think. I made John and I some healthy, low sugar strawberry shortcake.

Another high light is that I made my first ever compost bin. I took a 55 gallon plastic barrel (which I already had) and drilled a bazillion holes in it, then put it outside to start composting some of our food waste. I have so many fruit and vegetables peels and scraps that just go into the landfill where they can’t break down because they are trapped in a plastic bag. I need to make a list for John so he knows what can and cannot go into the compost pile. I am still foggy on a few things. I know meat, bones and processed foods are generally a no no. My main purpose is to reduce the amount of garbage we put out to the road. The nice soil it will eventually create will be a bonus, but that is not my primary reason for doing it. I am sick of paying $300 per year for garbage pick up. Between our recycling efforts and now our composting, I think we will reduce our garbage to at most one bag per week. I am terribly ashamed to admit we would put out five bags per week easily before we started recycling. So this is just one more layer to “greening” up our habits.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weigh In Report for June 21st

Well, I am encouraged to say the least. Today (after not officially weighing in for two weeks) I am down .4 pounds. I was really expecting a big gain from the fudgefest last weekend. I did get right back to the game plan of 1800 calories per day, but much fudge was consumed!

So, I am going to continue eating as many whole unprocessed foods as possible and continue on my 1800 calories per day. It seems like this may be working (funny how I've learned that one week's result is not indicitave of future results). Yippeee!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nutritional Information---Trustworthy?

I subscribe to daily emails from I love the different recipes and tips that I get in my email each morning. Last week they gave me bad news. A reader wrote in questioning the nutritional information on one of my very favorite Trader Joe’s product, the Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. I have these calculated to be two WW point per burger.

This reader thought they seemed awfully greasy considering the amount of calories and fat on the label. Hungry Girl went to work. They did their own independent testing on this product and it appears the nutritional information is way off and the burger is more likely four points! Incidentally, this isn’t the first time trader Joe’s has been wrong. I guess that a year ago they had to pull their banana chips off the market because of faulty nutritional information.

So I guess this makes me question the nutritionals on the things we eat. Who actually determines the number of calories in the serving of an item? Is there an independent organization that double checks all this? If not, what is to stop a manufacturer to falsify the information in order to appeal to a certain market of people? As hungry girl said in her response to the reader. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Food for thought.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mini Adventure Vacation ----Day 2

We planned another early day for Saturday. We caught the very first ferry to the Island at 7:30am. Most of the passengers on that ferry were people who worked on Island. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island. I felt sorry for the construction workers that had to put all their supplies in a wheelbarrow and wheel it to their worksite. I never saw a 4 wheeler, or golf cart. People just loaded stuff into the basket of their bike and took off to their jobs.
We rented bikes right away so we could start our bike riding before the throngs of people were out on the roads riding. It was a chilly morning, but so tranquil riding around the island.

We only met a few other people on the road. Surprisingly I actually met someone jogging around the island that I knew from boot camp in May! Three hours away from home and I still see someone I know! I also met the sister of one of my dearest friends working in one of the shops! It was really an easy ride. I don’t even think I broke a sweat. I know that since it was an “adventure vacation” we probably should have pushed ourselves but it was just nice relaxing and I figured that at least we could give ourselves credit for actually moving and not just sitting on a bench eating ice cream (that was later). It took us just an hour to ride the 8 miles around the island and then we turned our bikes in.

By that time people were streaming off the ferries and the main street was beginning to get crowded. After enjoying a Starbucks coffee (yep there is a Starbucks on the island) we took off on foot to see the inner island. I’m not sure how long we walked but according to the garmin, we put in a total of 15 miles. Eight of the miles were riding our bikes so I guess we walked about seven miles the rest of the day. I don’t think we really intended to walk that far, but since I had the map we (really I) got turned around and didn’t know where we were going for a while. At least it was an island so we knew eventually we would reach the water!

When we got back to the main street we did a bit of shopping and eating and then caught the 4 o’clock ferry back to the mainland.

I can’t tell you how much fudge I ate, but I know it was way too much. We ate a bit more of it on our way home Saturday evening and by the time I got home Saturday night, my eyes didn’t want to focus, I had a killer headache and terrible stomach upset. My body was letting me know that it can’t tolerate the sugar that I had eaten for the last couple of days.
I learned a lot about my new habits. I went on this trip knowing that I was not counting points, yet I still found myself trying to make healthy choices. I truly let myself enjoy the fudge and the ice cream without guilt or remorse. I knew that this weekend would not be a spring board back into the pool of bad habits that I used to live by. I allowed myself to enjoy everything knowing that come Sunday I would be back to healthy living. I had no idea how much my body would crave something such as cottage cheese and spinach!
I am so grateful to have spent this time with such a good friend. Our days were filled with lots of stories and laughter. We are already starting to plan our next mini adventure vacation for July.

Mini Adventure Vacation---Day One

Deb and I had a great time on our first mini adventure vacation last weekend. We left her house at 7am on Friday and made it to Mackinaw City about 10:30am. We started the day out shopping and wandering around the many shops. The smell of fudge permeated the air! After lunch we walked a couple of miles along the shore line looking at the beautiful homes.

In the afternoon we headed across the bridge to St Ignace. We started out climbing Castle Rock (almost 200 feet above sea level). This is such a neat tourist trap! You have to pay 50 cents to climb the stairs and then when you come back down, you can have your picture taken in front of giant statues of Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox. (The legend according to the pamphlet is that Paul scooped out the Great Lakes with his hands). When we were done in town we headed west about 15 minutes to the sand dunes so we could walk along Lake Michigan. We walked around for over an hour along the shore just laughing and talking.

St Ignace has changed so much since the summer I lived there. As a kid no one stopped in Mackinaw City unless you needed gas to get across the bridge. There was nothing there to see. It is actually quite sad because the situation is reversed and now St Ignace has practically folded up. Mackinaw City has built itself up so much with an amphitheater, and cute shops that people don’t feel the need to actually drive across the bridge anymore. I was shocked at how many of the mom and pop restaurants and motels were closed up now. Never fear though, Murdicks fudge was still open! Whew! We bought a couple of different kinds of fudge to snack on that evening. Man it was good!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wow! Kind of Harsh!

I received a surprisingly harsh message from a reader in response to my post called WW Rant. Maybe I need to explain my ever changing belief system when it comes to food in my life. I was told to drop my “holier than thou” attitude and get off my high horse. I really must say it surprised me. I will be the first one to say that “my way” is what is working for me right now, today. That doesn’t mean it is the "right way" for someone else and it doesn’t rule out that I many learn something tomorrow and adjust from there. I am figuring all this out one day at a time just like anyone else. I apologize for coming across in a way that seemed judgmental to anyone.

I still do eat some (as little as possible) processed food. I have tried to especially cut sugar substitutes and white flour out of my life. I just don’t think our bodies were meant to subsist on these ingredients. For goodness sakes, up until a few months ago, I ate a lean cuisine for lunch every single day. I just found that my body feels better and more satisfied when I eat something whole and fresh like a spinach salad with chicken on it. When I started WW last year I was willing to buy anything they said I should if it meant that I lost weight and could sustain my addiction to sweets. Many people don’t have the addiction to chocolate as I did. It was all I could think about. You’ve seen my earlier posts about binging on Vitamuffins or fiber one bars or using all but a few of my daily points on junk food. The greatest thing I ever got out of Boot camp in May was cutting all that stuff out and breaking my addiction with chocolate.

Did I eat some Mackinaw Island fudge and enjoy ice cream in a waffle cone on my vacation this weekend? You bet your ass I did! Did I enjoy it? You bet your ass I did! Was I sick for two days after? You bet your ass I was! I’ve been home for two days and don’t want to see anything resembling sugar for a very long time!

Here is my understanding of how sugar substitutes work in our brain. When we eat something (be it HFCS, Splenda, or whatever they put in the low fat and fat free treats) the stomach gets a message from our tastebuds saying “Hey we just felt sweet and so you are going to get some awesome calories in a bit.” When the stomach doesn’t receive the calories, it sends a message to our brain saying “WTF! You were supposed to send calories and didn’t. Go get something else.” I think it can put us on a terrible rollercoaster ride and I am glad I don’t have those strong cravings anymore.

Granted, I am NOT a scientist, this is just what I’ve read and I pretty much feel that this is how my body reacts. That’s why, when all this low fat stuff came out it gave me permission to eat more and the chemical reactions in my body reinforced the overeating and binging.

So, If you love the WW products and it helps you in your weight loss that is fantastic. Your journey is the only one that should matter to you. Their products taste good I’m sure many of us can agree on that! We all need to do what is best for us. I just have a hard time having all these boxes of “high priced stuff” marketed at us because we are their captive audience.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Mini Adventure Vacation

Tomorrow I am leaving for my first "active" vacation. One of my very dear friends and I are driving up to Mackinaw and taking a ferry to the Island and riding bikes for the day and then doing some hiking the next day in St Ignace.
There fore I will not have a post until Monday. By then the sugar buzz from the fudge I am going to enjoy will have left my body and I'll have lots of stories and pictures to share.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Weight Watchers Rant

I went to a weight watchers meeting last night but didn’t weigh in. One, I was wearing jeans and I had eaten popcorn so I knew the scale would be skewed. Plus, I knew if I weighed in and saw a gain I would attribute it to my increase in calories and I may start cutting back my calories again. Since I am leaving for a two day vacation tomorrow I thought it would be good to have an extra mental boost before I went.

Last nights meeting topic was on indulgences. When you want to treat yourself for a job well done, a loss, or anything else that needs rewarding, what things do you like to indulge in? Most people still talked about food which made me very sad. Go here and get this and it’s only 2 points, or mix this with that and then add splenda….. You can eat a ton of the soda pop cake for only x amount of points. They only talked about food or alcohol rewards.

Don’t get me wrong, I love weight watchers and I think that the program is basically good and bonding with the other people at the meetings is really important. Here's an idea...... how about doing what is best for us instead of treating us as though we are a cash cow. Teach us about the big picture of what our body needs and can use. Not how to get the most sweets and junk food for our daily allotted points.

Which leads me to by biggest rant with WW. It makes me crazy to see all the stuff that weight watchers sells. Smoothie mixes, add ins for water, cookie bars, candy, chips, oatmeal and now flavored straws to put in your milk. Wow, is it just me or is weight watchers missing the boat? Here’s another idea….How about telling people that your body really can’t use all the chemicals and artificial sweeteners and preservatives that are in those items? How about telling them that artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase hunger and cravings? How about educating the consumers that the core plan and clean eating is what your body needs? No, instead they see a venue to make even more money off us (as if $40 bucks a month isn’t enough). I don’t mind the exercise videos, pedometers, cook books and measuring tools. It’s the food that they sell. These items are so expensive. I think the new Peanut Butter bliss bars are $7.50 for 6 bars! On Saturday’s there is one woman that has no less than 4 or 5 boxes of these things in her arms as she checks in every week!

On a side note, I know that I previously shied away from the core plan because they say you don’t count the points and use the fullness messages your body sends to your brain to stop eating. My brain and stomach don’t speak the same language so I never figured it would work for me. But if they taught that you do the core plan and count the points, maybe people would feel more comfortable trying it. BUT is the reason they don’t teach it that way because people would stop buying all the crap they are selling???? (Yep I am a big conspiracy theorist)

So, what did I share as my indulgence? I talked about buying a new pair of shoes or a new workout outfit or not feeling guilty spending money on my upcoming mini vacation to bike around Mackinaw.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Storm Fear

Living in Michigan means at least a thunderstorm per week during the summer. Out of our seven dogs, we are fortunate that only Haven is afraid of storms. I am always on the lookout for new ideas to help Haven cope so I will share what I know about this phobia as it has related to her. I am by no means an expert and some of the things I have tried that didn’t work for us, may very well work for someone else.

Haven was born in May and we didn’t get her from my breeder until August but I don’t remember anything usual that first summer as a puppy. Then again I was so preoccupied with her broken leg that I may have missed indicators.

I think there are two things that can bother the dog. One is the change in barometric pressure that precedes and accompanies a storm. This is what I believe bothers Haven the most. It can be a clear day and she will start showing signs of stress long before a storm arrives. As a storm approaches, Haven will begin to pant heavily, pace around the house, and be “wild-eyed”. She cannot bring her self to stop moving and is not comforted by sitting next to one of us. If a storm starts after we are all in bed/crates, she will dig at the bottom of her crate door until her toes bleed. Her crate is situated under a window in the dog room and I wonder if the sound of the rain hitting the window sets her off. I am a light sleeper when it comes to my dogs so I hear her and put her in a crate in our bedroom. Once she settles into the new crate, she is fine and sleeps the rest of the night. I hate thinking about my poor girl if a storm hits and we are not home.

There are a variety of things on the market that are supposed to help. I recently tried Rescue Remedy (about $16) which is an herbal liquid that you give to the dog, and though I only tried it a couple of times, I did not notice an improvement of her symptoms. ( I did spill much of it on my bed and I can say that I slept better that night) To be fair I will try it again this summer. More recently (last weekend) I bought a product called Calm Caps (about $16). The ingredients include Kava Kava and Valerian Root. These were from a vendor at the dogs show called Nature’s Farmacy. I’ve given Haven two doses of these and she did seem to calm a bit, but I also knew the storm was coming and dosed her more than an hour before any thunder. Something I have not tried but would like to try are the calming coats you can buy. The theory is similar to the way it calms a baby when wrapping them in a swaddling blanket. The pressure exerted on the body by the jacket calms them. These are pricey but I have heard good things about them.

The other thing that can affect the dog is the sound of the thunder and the flashing of the lightening. This noise phobia is also seen during the 4th of July celebrations with fireworks.
In puppy class I tell my students to make a positive association with the noise. Even if it is the middle of the night, get up and play a game of ball in the house, and as long as they are not showing signs of stress, feed lots of treats. Make it a happy time.
You can also purchase cds with storm sounds and by playing them over and over and increasing the volume over time may desensitize the dog to the sound of thunder.

If anyone else out there has had experience with this please chime in and tell us what worked or didn’t work for you and your dog.

A fridge in the Gym?

Boy, lots of improvements this year in our corporate gym. Not only did we get our new piece of equipment (the Matrix Accent) but yesterday I noticed that there was a mini fridge and it was stocked with fruit, veggies, and bottled water. How neat is that? The VP just grabbed me in the hallway and asked if I had seen the new addition and I told him it was a fantastic idea and we should think of adding a masseuse next!

I have to keep reminding myself of these perks when I moan about having to commute so far to work and spend so much on gas. I essentially have a free gym membership!

Variations of a Salad

I eat a salad every day for lunch. Last week I had a sub at subway and I think the carbohydrates really made my workout suffer later that afternoon. So I will stick with my salad.

I used to use romaine and add chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and lots of bac-os topped with FF ranch dressing. I have recently switched from using Romaine lettuce to organic baby spinach. I believe there’s more nutritional value to spinach and I do really enjoy the taste. While I do love chicken on my salad sometimes you need to mix things up. Plus you’ll be pleased to know that I no longer buy or use bac-os. Whew, another bad habit broken!

Today I made what I call a “pizza salad” I stuck with my baby spinach but instead of chicken I cut up a couple of servings of Turkey pepperoni and added mushrooms and a serving of FF mozzarella cheese. Instead of FF ranch dressing, I used low fat balsamic vinaigrette. Kind of spicy and very good!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Play Ball!

As I mentioned earlier I had tickets to a Tiger game on Saturday. Well, actually John (my husband) had tickets to a Tiger game with a couple of our friends and then had the opportunity to work so I was the lucky recipient of the ticket. First off, I adore the two guys I went with, Darren and Paul. Paul, John and I were all groomsmen at Darren’s wedding. I’ve known Darren for more than 15 years and Paul a few years less than that.

The day was perfect for a game. 80 degrees, sunny (I brought lots of sun block) and great seats. I even took off my shoes and socks and tanned my toes while we sat there. Plus, the Tiger’s won! During a slow spot we got up and wandered around the park and Paul and I rode the baseball themed ferris wheel.

I tried to plan my calories for the day I even took healthy snacks (cherries, cheese and was crackers, yogurt, a few fiber one bars and trail mix) to eat on the way down and for a snack on the way back from the game. I still ended up going over board. I had a couple of dogs, we all shared a soft pretzel, then Paul and I shared some sushi (yep, a fresh sushi bar at a ball park!)
So I made mostly good choices, and I tried to make up for my overage by reducing what I ate on Sunday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

No weigh in report for June 7th

I wasn't able to weigh in this week as I had to be at the dog show to administer the AKC Canine Good Citizen test starting at 7am and my last dog was at 11am. I was grateful that I had planned to go to a Tiger game that afternoon so I had a reason to leave as soon as I was done testing dogs.

This was the first time I have been back to a dog show since everything happened last year and I decided to stop showing my dogs. A wave of nostagia hit me as I heard the hum of the dryers, and the saw the crates and grooming tables lined up. It was hard to see the people that I had hoped not to see. I found it difficult to explain where I had been for the past year to acquaintances. I knew I would be questioned so I had rehearsed a polite reply. I just told them that it was time to focus on me and my life for a while and not show dogs. I stayed out of the building where the poodle people were set up and did not go watch any of the judging.

I tested a total of 10 dogs and 9 of them passed. The dog that did not pass tried to bite my assistant as she bent down to examine his feet. That is not behavior that expected of a CGC dog. While the owner was surprised, she said they would work on the behavior and test again at a later date. Most owners only handle their dogs feet when they are going to trim their nails. This sets up a negative association with having their feet touched. I teach the people in my puppy class to handler their dogs feet in the evening while relaxing and that every time they touch the dog's foot, to feed the dog a treat. This will create a positive association of being handled. While my dogs still don't eagerly line up to have their nails trimmed, they do not pull their paw back from me when I want to handle it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Budgeting the Calories

Yesterday was my 14th wedding anniversary. Since next year is a milestone year we are planning to go to Vegas to celebrate our 15th. So far the plan is to renew our vows with an Elvis impersonator.

John and I planned to go to Applebee’s for dinner and have a meal sans being glued to the TV or being surrounded by begging dogs. While I waited for him to get home from work, I went on calorie king and planned what I was going to eat. I budgeted in the augratin soup, sirloin steak, with veggies, and rice and one of those dessert shooters they have there.

When John got home he had a sack from my favorite mom and pop grocery store. I knew what was in the sack before he even told me. A few nights ago we were talking about cravings and I said that I was hungry for a Ric’s brownie (hands down the best brownie ever! In the old days I could eat an entire pan single handedly in a couple of days). I had said I just wanted one, not a whole pan. So he stopped and got me one brownie. What a treat!

Here is the great part: old me would not have adjusted my dinner plans to work in the calories the brownie held, rather old me would have just ate the brownie in addition to the dinner and justified it as a special occasion. Not anymore. I cut out the augratin soup and the rice and did not get a dessert shooter to offset the calories. It was so nice to be able to savor the brownie and not feel guilty afterwards. That brownie was so good. It was just as decadent as I remember.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I should eat how many calories??????

My wonderful friend with the dietetics degree was so nice to take time out of her super busy (read 4 children and a bustling daycare) to do all the calculations for me to know how many calories my body really requires. Here is much of her email to me.

She used the equation called the Harris-Benedict Equation. She believes that it is an accurate measure of BMR (basal metabolic rate or the amount of energy that is required just to exist.) and takes activity level into account.

She calculated my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure or actual number of Kcals used to maintain current size and and current activity level.) to be 2358 Kcals. In order to lose weight at current activity level (I choose the moderate activity 3-5 times per week), she said I can safely reduce my TDEE by 15 - 20%. This would = 1885 - 2005 Kcals per day. There is another recommendation of cutting 500 Kcals off of your TDEE in order to lose weight, which puts you at 1858 Kcals.

She recommend that I plan to eat 1800 - 1850 Kcals per day and see if that gets my weight loss moving again. Of course, eat clean, aim for 25% protein, 25% fat, and 40% carbs.

This sounds like a LOT of calories to eat. But I am willing to try it. Obviously 1200 calories wasn't helping the weight loss so it won't hurt (much) to try this for a couple of weeks. On the plus side, I will be unable to weigh in at WW for the next two Saturdays. This saturday I will be administering a CGC test for the local dog club and next Saturday I will be on my first mini adventure vacation with a girlfriend up north. I call this a plus because I know that if I saw a big gain on the scale this week, I may chicken out of trying this for a more than a few days let alone a couple of weeks. This way, I'll weigh in on the 21st and should get a real look at whether this new calorie level is working or not.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another "Camp" and a Metabolism Lesson

I tried out another “camp” (I won’t call it boot camp, as I don’t think it’s a much like what I just finished.) Blaine is a personal trainer and she is also certified in nutrition. You can join her camp or do one on one personal training sessions. The month long “camp” is outdoors rain or shine at various locations around town and the workouts are similar to what I did last month. There are two workouts per week and the cost $70 each month. You also get support from her via email or phone and before and after measurements.

A couple of my friends have been training with her for a while and really rave about her. The thing I really liked about this her is that for every task she gave us to do, she showed a few modified ways to do it and stressed that we should only do what we were comfortable with and to stop for water when ever needed. There were about 15 of us there last night. We did an obstacle course at a school playground. The workout was tough, but enjoyable. It was a mixture of cardio (jogging from station to station) and strength training.

After the workout, a few of us gathered at a picnic table and Blaine was happy to answer our questions (I wasn’t the only first timer there). Of course my first question was about the diet. She said that she gives us a guideline but since we were all different she would be available to answer questions or we could schedule an appt for a nutritional consultation with her to personalize it more. She also stated that 1200 calories was likely too low for me to be eating. I appreciated that when I told her about the struggles I’ve had over the last month; she didn’t have bad things to say about the trainer and was very professional. Our area is a small pond and I appreciate that she didn’t try to pump herself up by putting another local trainer down.

She spent some time explaining metabolism in layman’s terms. This was stuff I kind of knew, but the analogy she used was fantastic and I am going to paraphrase and share it with you.
She said your metabolism is like a bon fire. There are a lot of options of what we can put on the fire. Some fuels like newspaper (simple carbs, fruit) burn quickly but don't keep the fire going long term. Newspaper is fine to use on the fire, but realize that it will need something more substantial in order to keep going.
Some things like plastic bottles or garbage (sugar, white flour) burn too, but they really just really change composition and actually leave a nasty residue. Little twigs burn, but not for very long (meals with not enough calories, quick, easily digestible protein)
Nice sized logs keep the fire burning for a while (good sized meals three to four hours apart, quality protein, and whole grain carbs). You will need to add a log every few hours though in order to keep the fire burning.
But be careful, if you put to many logs on the fire, it will smother and go out (over eating, binging) another side effect is that log since it didn’t get burned up, stays right there and is being stored (like your body stores extra calories as fat).

I haven't decided if I am going to sign up for the month. The budget doesn't look good for this month to squeak an extra $70 out. I may just take it easy this and do my kettle bell classes in June and fill in with bike rides and long walks with the dogs. The next session starts on Monday so I'd better make up my mind soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How Many Calories for Bugs?

I loaded up my bike this afternoon and went to my favorite park (same place I CC ski in the winter). I have a little back pack that I stashed some water, my cell phone and a map of the park (don't want to get lost like I did this winter skiing).

What a ride! There are so many hills and roots over the roads it was a blast. I ate a lot of bugs as I sailed down the hill yelling Wheeeeeee!!!!! It was so much more fun that riding on a street. Lots of twists and turns made the time fly by.

The smell of the honeysuckle blossoms was divine and there were lots of trilliums blooming along the trails. The park was pretty busy. I must have met a dozen people or so while I was there. Lots of runners and people with their dogs.

I rode about 45 minutes and covered nearly 5 miles.

A couple of my favorite recipes

There are two dishes I always go back to. They are both good for you, and low in points. I thought I would share them from you.
This first recipe is called cabbage roll casserole. I got it out of one of the gooseberry patch cookbooks and then tweaked it a bit.

1 small-medium head of cabbage (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 pound ground meat (turkey breast, ground sirloin or venison)
1 28 oz can of tomatoe sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup instant brown rice (uncooked)

Brown the onion with the meat then mix in with all other ingredients. Put in 13 x 9 pan cover with aluminum foil and back for one and a half hours at 350 degrees. I have this figured to be about 3 points per cup. I think it is all considered core as well.

Taco soup or as I like to call it "6 can chili"

I got this recipe from WW and then changed it for out tastes. The WW recipe called for peppers and corn, only three cans of beans and more water. I like this thick.

1 pound lean ground meat (turkey breast, venison, ground sirloin)
1 large onion
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
4 cans of beans (great northern, pinto, black, and chili beans)
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing

Simmer all these ingredients for an hour. It ends up being about 2 points for a cup. I'm not sure if this is core or not. I am not normally a fan of chili, but I think the ranch dressing in this makes it taste amazing. I usually throw a couple of TBS of FF sour cream on it instead of crackers.

Thank you

Thanks to all who commented on my post yesterday. It really means a lot to have the input of so many other wonderful women. I am hoping to get more input from the dietician, and in the mean time I have gone back up to my normal 29 points per day. I am fully prepared that I may have a gain next week when I weigh in but will happily take that if it means I get my metabolism working again.