Tag Archives: weight-loss

Journey Journal: Days 57-60

Day 57: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Homemade whole wheat toast with organic coconut spread and apricot jam for breakfast, along with a cup of fresh apple slices. Twenty minutes of Goga at lunch, followed by veggie stir-fry. Curry with chicken and mushrooms for dinner, along with strawberries, almonds, and a little dark chocolate for dessert.

Day 58: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Same breakfast as yesterday. I’m really enjoying the coconut spread! Leftover curry and rice for lunch. Twenty minutes of Goga after work, followed by a quick veggie stir-fry supper, then off to prayer meeting.

Day 59: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Multi-grain Cheerios with Coconut Almond milk and a banana for breakfast.

Today marked one month at Goga, which means measurements! Over 10 body points, I dropped a total 8 inches and 7 pounds in one month! Not only is it a good workout and a relaxing stress reliever, it actually works! After another 20 minute session of Goga, I stopped home quickly for a roast beef wrap with spinach, onion, mushroom, and peppers, accompanied by steamed broccoli and a strawberry-kiwi fruit salad.

Tonight, we were invited over to a family’s house from church. She made an amazing Chinese dinner, with dumplings, fried rice, veggies, and cashew chicken–we even ate with chopsticks. We had such a good time talking that we had to pull ourselves away around midnight, since we had work the next day. So thankful for the bond of Christ!

Day 60: Friday, February 29, 2013

Peanut butter on homemade whole wheat bread for breakfast. A simple roast beef and spinach wrap for lunch, with some pepper strips and baby carrots. Dinner was raisin bran with dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and a banana with almond coconut milk. Had a later snack of more raw veggies. No workout today–rest day! And hopefully an early bedtime.

Book Review: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano is a fabulously simple concept of enjoying quality over quantity in whatever you eat…or do. With over 265 pages of tips, tricks, recipes and hilariously helpful stories, Guiliano shares the secrets of her healthy heritage, while convincing you to drop whatever fad diet you might be most recently deceived by.

Guiliano is a high-power, working woman and best-selling international author, who grew up in France and is at the top of her game as the CEO of an American branch of a French company. She talks about being an exchange student in high school and coming to America, where she picked up much of the typical American high school food fare, along with the pounds to go with it. After returning to France, she worked with a Dr. Meyer (whom she refers to as “Dr. Miracle” throughout the book) to regain her ideal body weight and lead a healthfully satisfying life of enjoying food, fitness, friends and family.

She talks about basic concepts like eating smaller portions of higher quality ingredients, making sure you have a good variety (recommending at least 20-30 different types of food each day, so you get a full gamut of nutrients), not depriving yourself, eating slowly and mindfully, and shopping daily and at local markets as much as possible, so you get the freshest, in season, local ingredients.

She also recommends drinking plenty of water, keeping moving (even if it’s just walking, stairs, and a few light weights), getting proper sleep (not too much, not too little), and adding yogurt to your daily menu. And over and over again she says, “Faites simple,” meaning, “Keep it simple.”

Here are some of my favorite moments from the book:

  • “Consider all the things you consume regularly. Which of them is giving you real pleasure and which are you having to pointless excess? One thing French women know is that the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites; we rarely have seconds” (p. 31).
  • “Part of living like a French woman, then, will mean searching out and paying a bit more for quality, whether at the open-air market or at least a good grocery shop with market suppliers. …French women live on budgets, too, but they also understand the value of quality over quantity” (p. 77).
  • “Visual variety, color, and presentation are underestimated factors in food pleasure” (p. 119).
  • “French women know any regimen you can’t maintain for long stretches of life is bound to fail you, just as they know that boredom, not food, is the enemy” (p. 206). “For me, walking remains the ultimate time for freedom of thought” (p. 210). “The body spends about 60 calories an hour sleeping; if you swim, you’ll do better at 430 calories; but climbing stairs consumes a stunning 1,100 calories per hour. Vive l’escalier!” (p. 211).
  • “The only purpose of withholding some pleasure is so we can more fully enjoy everything else for having it in proper balance” (p. 224). “Our troubles with weight have as much to do with our attitudes toward eating as they do with what we are ingesting. We are seeing a growing psychosis that I believe actually adds stress to our already stressful way of life. It is fast erasing the simple values of pleasure” (p. 225).
  • Speaking of laughter: “It’s both a physical and psychic pleasure: it is relaxing, stimulating, liberating, and sensual. It’s a pleasant response to emotion that heightens the emotion itself” (p. 228). “Marcel Pagnol believed that God gave laughter to human beings as consolation for being intelligent. I prefer to believe he made us intelligent so we could appreciate a good laugh” (p. 229).
  • “The answer is never ‘dieting’ in the American sense, but rather little alterations made steadily over time. So when we do lose the excess weight, not only does the effort seem painless, the results are much more likely to last. If my fellow Americans could adopt even a fraction of the French attitude about food and life (don’t worry, you don’t have to sign on to the politics, too), managing weight would cease to be a terror, an obsession, and reveal its true nature as part of the art of living” (p. 252).

I highly recommend this book if you are trying to lose weight for the first time…or if you have given up and need this to be the last time you lose weight…or if you just want a few good tips and recipes to spice up your weekly menu repertoire. Fortunately, I took French in high school and still remember un petit peu (since she likes to throw in some of her native phrases), but even if you don’t know French, she translates most of her phrases for you…and then, there’s always Google translate for the ones she doesn’t. A quick read, and a relief to the typical American trying to become healthier. So, pick up this book, adjust your attitude about food, and then adjust your lifestyle and start enjoying the good gifts of fabulous cuisine. Bon Appetit! 

Journey Journal: Day 46

Day 46: Friday, February 15, 2013

Woke up this morning, and as I was getting dressed, I noticed my pants fit better; so, I naturally got on the scale. Down 2 more pounds this week! That makes nearly 10 lbs. lost since the beginning of the year! I forgot my breakfast this morning, but I fortunately have an emergency stash of almonds in my desk drawer at work. Took an early lunch and had some yellow rice, black beans, and some of the leftover guacamole from last night. My coworkers told me it smelled delicious and that I should open a restaurant. It was a delicious, nutritious combination that I will definitely do again! After work, I made it to the gym in time to get through most of my normal routine before closing time, and then came home to make an egg sandwich with sautéed onions and peppers with rosemary for dinner. Had a good size Granny Smith apple as a side. Really hit the spot. Now for some hot tea and a good book…one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night…or any night, for that matter.

Resource: “You Need Sleep” Info Graph

Brought to you by a fellow reader, Peter Kim and his team at Medical Coding Certification.

Featured Giveaway: Joy Bauer’s “Food Cures” – What Does “Healthy” Mean to You?!

Much of this site is dedicated to Healthy Living. Most of us value our health, but what does “health” mean to you? A while back, I shared my definition as follows:

“strong, sound & whole
body, mind & soul,
from proper rest, spirit refresh,
nutritious foods, water
& balanced exercise”

Joy Bauer has a Masters degree in Science and is a Registered Dietician and Certified Dietician Nutritionist. She is often seen on the Today show, sharing recipes and tips on healthy living. Today, I have a special offer direct from Joy!

The Prize: one free copy of Joy Bauer’s Revised and Updated Food Cures Cookbook shipped directly from JoyBauer.com! Entry Guidelines after the book review below.

Joy’s book Food Cures: Eat Right to Get Healthier, Look Younger, and Add Years to Your Life has been completely revised and updated. This is NOT your average cookbook! With 500+ pages of tips, recipes, and how to make eating healthful foods easy (instead of another burden in your life or a crazy fad diet), this book is at the top of my list for helpful cookbooks and nutrition resources! Here’s an overview:

Part 1 – “Welcome to My Office” includes two introductory chapters and tips on how to use the book and “think like a nutritionist.”

Each chapter after this includes details about various food-related health issues and a 4-step program for the targeted concern:

  • Step 1: Start with the Basics – tips and tricks for dealing with your concern
  • Step 2: Your Ultimate Grocery List – featured in the meal plan
  • Step 3: Going Above and Beyond – to maximize your results
  • Step 4: Meal Plans – a selection of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and fun food options (with recipes) from which to choose.

Part 2 – “Losing Weight” – Chapter 3 includes weight loss basics, formulas, charts, an explanation of how different foods affect your weight, and a plan overview for creating your own meal plan.

Part 3 – “Looking Great” includes 3 chapters on food that helps skin, hair, and your shiny whites (what Joy calls “Feeding a Beautiful Smile”).

Part 4 – “Living Long and Strong” includes 6 chapters on foods that influence Cardiovascular Disease, Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Vision and Memory.

Part 5 – “Feeling Good” includes 7 chapters on foods that affect your mood, migraines, PMS, insomnia, IBS, Celiac Disease, and cancer prevention.

Finally, Part 6 – “Resources” includes how to read a nutrition label, a detailed list of references for each chapter and an in-depth index.

Still intrigued?! Well, you may be in luck! Joy Bauer is providing one copy of her Food Cures book to a lucky reader of My Journey To Lean! Want to win it?

Contest Rules:

  • Contest ends at 12:00PM EST on Friday, November 11, Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Winners will be announced on Saturday, November 12, Wednesday, November 16, 2011.
  • An email address is required when leaving a comment (will not be visible unless you put it in the text portion of your comment). This information will not be shared or sold by MyJourneyToLean.com. It will only be used to contact you if you are the winner.
  • Winner will be selected using Random.org. Winner must respond to notification email within 48 hours with shipping address and name to claim prize, or winner will forfeit prize and another drawing will take place.

6 Different Ways to Enter (one comment per entry; one entry per entry type per person – max of six entries if all are completed):

  1. Leave a comment below letting me know what “Healthy” means to you!
  2. Subscribe to http://MyJourneyToLean.com and leave a comment that you did so (if you already subscribe, just leave a comment letting me know that too).
  3. Follow @MyJourneyToLean on Twitter and come back here to leave a comment that you did so.
  4. Follow My Journey To Lean on Facebook and come back here to leave a comment that you did so.
  5. Visit www.joybauer.com, sign up for her free newsletter or complete her free diet profile, and come back here to leave a comment that you did so.
  6. Share this contest on your blog, linking back to MyJourneyToLean.com and leave a comment here with the link to your post included (comments must be left on this blog; comments on other blogs do not qualify) OR email a link to this post to 5 or more of your friends and come back here to leave a comment that you did so.

For a glimpse into the book, download the Joy Bauer.com

More Progress: Down Another Size!

Only one more size to go! I fit into two pairs of shorts and a pair of pants that I haven’t fit into in 3 years! So exciting! To celebrate, I bought a size 8 pair of jeans! Size 6, here I come!

I also signed up to participate in the Pound for Pound Challenge. My pledge: 9 lbs.! An organization has pledged to donate $0.14 per pound pledged to local food banks, up to a certain amount. It’s nationwide and it’s local. So, pledge today. Make a commitment to yourself to lose weight and help people in your community get some healthful food.

http://pfpchallenge.com/

Thursday Weigh-Ins

About a year and a half ago, I stepped on the scale at my all-time high. Since then, I’ve had two numbers in my mind: 1. the weight I think I need to be, and 2. the weight I want to be.

As of today, I broke another 5 lb. mark! I’m down 1.25 lbs. since last week and feeling great! I’m 4 lbs. away from the weight I think I need to be and 16 from what I want to be. And the weekly (or monthly) weigh-ins give me a chance to stay accountable with myself and my friends.

Breakfast was a small glass of Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Protein drink and a Low-fat Blueberry Chobani Greek Yogurt with some Kashi Go Lean Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal mixed in.

For my morning snack, I had some trail mix, and a little later some California Poppers (recipe from my friend Catherine’s blog; it’s basically raw cauliflower with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin).

Lunch is a small salad, whole wheat bun with chicken breast, Asiago cheese, and some dijon mustard, and 1/2 cup of diced peaches.

Tonight is Girls on the Run, an after-school volunteer program I help coach in my community. It’s a great way to mentor kids and teach them about health and fitness, and I get a little exercise too. At the end of the season, we’ll run a 5K together (a first for me). After GOTR, I plan on helping my husband finish weeding the front flowerbeds (lifting bags of mulch has been my strength training this week).

Happy Thursday! Get Fit, Stay Fit, and Enjoy the Journey!
~Melissa

Small Successes Are Still Successes!

A while back, a few of my coworkers and I started a weekly weigh in. It wasn’t designed as a Biggest Loser competition or anything. It was just to help each of us track our own bodies to improve them or maintain. The closer I get to my goal weight, the slower the weight comes off. After several weeks of only seeing a little come off (or no change), I decided to take a little break from the weekly weigh in.

After taking a month off from the scale, I got on today and pleasantly found that I was two pounds lighter than the last time I had weighed! Success 1!

Also, instead of just weighing on a scale, I also take measurements of six body points: neck, chest, waist, hips, thighs, and calves. I average the biceps, thighs and calves and count them each as one measurement. You might not realize it, but usually there is a dominant side of your body that is stronger and a tiny bit larger than the other side. I’ve lost two inches overall in the past month as well! Success 2!

And finally, we had a wedding shower at work today and they served my favorite cake: Brick Street Cafe’s Sweet Potato Cake. I chose a small handful of nuts and had NO cake! Success 3!

It’s the little successes that add up! I’d love to hear about your little successes. If you’ve had one recently, please comment on this post and share it with us!

Book Review: Health & Weight-Loss Breakthroughs 2009, Maximum Immunity

From the editors of Prevention. 278 pages.

Though produced in 2009, this book is in old-school textbook style. Very scientific approach, but very helpful, especially the diet/exercise plan in Part III. I’d give this one four stars: not a must have, but definitely a great resource.

Part I: Meet Your Immune System

This first section is highly educational, and speaks of the “Keys” to “Unlock Immune Power: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, mood management, sunlight, and environment. It also examines certain factors that may increase your health risks: smoking, stress, sleep-deprivation, lack of movement or excessive movement, crash dieting. It ends with an immunity quiz to help you know where you are and what needs to be adjusted.

Part II: 7 Keys to Maximum Immunity

  1. Nutrition: An Apple a Day Can Keep the Doctor Away (takes a closer look at food groups, etc.)
  2. Exercise: Keep It Moderate and Consistent (recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each day plus at least 10 minutes of strength training most days; also gives some tips on staying motivated: a whiff of peppermint, an exercise “contract,” an exercise buddy, visualization of results, active frame of mind, creativity in exercise time, eating a big breakfast, sacking only if you need to, and rewarding yourself.)
  3. Sleep: Quality Matters as Much as Quantity (some tips: Set a regular sleep schedule, de-clutter your bedroom, buy the best bed you can afford, keep it cool, keep it quiet, keep it dark, keep it animal free, establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, avoid late-night distractions, consider your bedclothes, time your exercise, time your meals, time your alcohol consumption, time caffeine consumption, get the right amount of sun exposure.)
  4. Stress: Don’t Let It Get the Best of You (Know the difference between good stress and bad stress. Tips: Focus on deep breathing, tune into your body, meditate, pray, exercise, get a massage.)
  5. Mood: Happiness Is Good Medicine (Tips: Remind yourself to have fun, Learn to laugh at yourself, Schedule a regular silliness check. If nothing else helps, smile.)
  6. Sunlight: A Small Amount Is a Great Source of Vitamin D
  7. Environment: How You Can Outsmart Germs (Tips: wash your hands, watch your pets, keep your kitchen clean, and change air filters regularly.)

Part III: Immune Essentials: The 4-Week Plan (gives a 4-week day-by-day meal and exercise plan with blank spots for diary entries about your sleep, stress level, mood, and environment; seems really good!)

Part IV: Immune Extras: Smart Strategies to Boost Immunity

Index