New things in the new year

The nutrition and exercise challenges for Go Fit Girl!’s January Monthly Challenge are about trying something new. (Facebook event page here.)

In the past week I have tried a few things in yoga I wasn’t willing to dare before.

I have been trying out the Shake Weight. Yup, go ahead and laugh. I was able to snatch it from a co-worker who got it during our White Elephant work lunch. And I am trying it out for a future review for Go Fit Girl!’s Review Wednesday.

Sunday morning is my regular grocery store weekly shopping. On Sunday I bought ingredients for Weight Watchers Fresh Vegetable Soup. Everything that went into the recipe I have eaten before. Last year I did a green smoothie cleanse and tried many vegetables (especially green leafy ones), which I had never tried before.

After I picked up the produce I needed I wandered around looking for a new item to cook. I looked at endives, which looked like a weird yellowish cabbage or lettuce. Eh, maybe not.

Then I decided to go look at the squash. I grabbed an acorn squash. I think I have probably eaten acorn squash, but … Continue reading

A week in the life of Ann on Weight Watchers

One of my regular readers, Jen, asked if I would be willing to share what I eat to be successful on Weight Watchers®.

So I am going to share my “menus”/tracking/what I have eaten this week.

For those of you not familiar with WW–just a few things I want to mention before I launch into my food intake.

Right now I don’t attend meetings (I do highly recommend finding a meeting that works for you. The support and ideas are amazing.) I track my food daily online.

When on WW you get daily points, weekly points (which can be distributed throughout the week or maybe for one big outing or “frivolous” meal or party) and you can also earn activity points–if you exercise you earn more points for the day (and week).

To be successful in weight loss or maintaining your weight planning is very important. I will admit that lately my planning hasn’t been great. Lucky for me at work we have a salad bar with a good variety of items and usually a lot of protein.

Monday

Getting back to healthy lifestyle feels good

Last Monday I put myself back on plan.

Back to my healthy lifestyle of regular exercise, eating better and tracking food/exercise.

And I have to say I feel so much better maintaining a healthy lifestyle than that month that I just went nuts. I felt tired and just crappy.

I still feel tired and crappy, but in a different way. Does that make any sense?

Last week was probably one of the toughest weeks to start back on the healthy plan AND try to lose weight.

Even though I have had many challenges this past week: two lunches out; dinner out; drinks one night, which turned into a light dinner; home cooked meal by an amazing friend; cruddy and busy week at work I still managed to get my regular exercise in and keep my calories in check.

AND the best part was I lost weight. I am back on track to get to my goal weight again.

As I have said before: If you have the tools and knowledge and you want to lose weight you will. If you don’t want to lose weight you won’t. I know it doesn’t seem that simple at times but really it is.

Continue reading

Fruit, veggie tips & tricks

I have recently gotten into eating grape-nuts. Funny, I hated them as a kid. (My brother and I weren’t allowed to eat a lot of sugary cereals.)

Grape-nuts are crunchy, yummy, filing, healthy and have some fiber and protein.

But that’s not really what this post is about.

Over the summer I was eating my grape-nuts with about a half sliced up nectarine. Perfect combo!

But sadly summer fruits are disappearing …

A tip I learned when attending Weight Watchers meetings was you could use canned fruit and just rinse the syrup out so you were just eating fruit and none of that yummy sugary syrup. Yes, that is the best part, but the unhealthy part.

So this morning at the grocery I bought the little snack packs of peaches. I rinsed one out and added it to my cereal. Not quite as good as the fresh nectarine. But good enough.

As I was thinking about this I was thinking about some other quick, easy fruit/veggie food tips I have learned along the way, either from trying something or from advice from someone else:

Just me, just you … trying to survive life

As I mentioned last week, I recently attended my 20-year high school reunion in my beautiful hometown.

As a Badger alumni I had the option to be a sponsor for the reunion. So Go Fit Girl! was a sponsor along with a few others.

With my sponsorship I received an acknowledgement on a banner, in the pamphlet in the goodie bag, my business card in the goodie bag and a mention at the dinner/dance that Saturday night.

There were four Badger business owners who sponsored and a few other local business who also sponsored.

During Pat’s shout out (she was the head of the Reunion Planning Committee) to those who sponsored the reunion she mentioned Go Fit Girl! and that everyone should read the blog for tips, like the one where  you can drink good beer and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My goal for myself is to maintain the healthiest and most realistic lifestyle I can for me. I believe in moderation. I like to eat and I like to drink. But I also want to be, look and feel healthy.

I am not a Denise Austin, Jillian Michaels or that P90X dude. I am Ann (aka Go … Continue reading

I <3 veggies!

Monday I talked about my munchie-infused snacky day. I mentioned my high-veggie dinner and neighbor/friend/GFG! reader Jessie wanted to know more about my dinner.

So let’s talk veggies (and, of course, I will have to get a shout out to protein … Why? Because I am on a protein kick and protein is good for you and keeps you full.)

My Monday night dinner consisted of steamed spinach, boiled carrots and shrimp and zucchini sautéed in garlic and other seasonings

According to Livestrong, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp has 11.6 grams of protein.

There are very few veggies I won’t eat or at least try.

I used to not be a fan of zucchini and now I love it.

On Monday I cut it up into little pieces sautéed in Pam and garlic with New Orleans Cajun seasoning. Spicy and delicious and most important, filing.

Note: My usual serving of brown rice with a meal is one cup. According to the website, How Much Protein, a half a cup (100 grams) of brown rice has almost 7 grams of protein.

Here are some of my regular veggie-infused meals and/or sides:

Grateful for new recipe

Today I am going to share a recipe with you, which was shared with me by my friend Monica.

Monica had lunch one day recently with a friend who replicated a recipe from Cafe Gratitude.

Cafe Gratitude is a restaurant in Berkeley. (And has a couple of other locations.) All of their food is organic and vegan and they specialize in gourmet raw and cooked cuisines. I have eaten there once years ago. Whatever I had was pretty good. I am wiling to try different things.

As I started to do research on the restaurant and the recipe I am going to share with you I found that this recipe: I am Grateful has more meaning than just a healthy, vegan meal.

According to the website where the menu is listed the I am Grateful bowl is a community supported grain bowl. Shredded kale with local brown rice, black beans and tahini-garlic sauce. They created this bowl to allow for those in financial need to have access to organic vegan food. Payment for this bowl is by donation. No one is turned away. The suggested value is $7. You can feed yourself and someone in need for … Continue reading

And the latest Go Fit Girl! winner is …

… Nicole!

Thanks to Nicole and Alicia for their great comments. I loved what you both wrote and am thankful for you both taking the time to comment. Especially Nicole!  I mean, wowza.

I love the idea of setting the timer for 5 minutes and getting the whole family to do a quick pick up. It makes it a little fun and gets everyone to participate, not just mom and/or wife.

This is probably my favorite thing Nicole mentioned: The house doesn’t have to be showroom quality – it just has to be clean and safe and comfortable.

Alicia, I am with you on the planning with the grocery shopping. For some reason I absolutely hate grocery shopping. If I could do what Alicia does: one thing I found that works for me is to grocery shop in the mornings on the way to work … I would do it.

I used to shop on Saturdays after the gym. But it is nuts then. So I go Sunday mornings before yoga. It is calm and quiet and I get it out of the way early.

There is a class at the gym that starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday nights (or … Continue reading

Handing out Peanut Butter Energy Balls

I made a second batch of Peanut Butter Energy Balls on Friday. I used the ground flaxseed, which the recipe called for, instead of sesame seeds I used last week.

And I have to say, this second batch is much tastier than the first. I also added a little more peanut butter. I actually made two batches this time around: one with chocolate chips and one with raisins.

I think I like the raisin ones better, crazy, I know. But the raisins are smoother than the hard chocolate chips. Curt and I snacked on them over the  weekend. I think I snacked a little more than he did. 🙂

I found the ground flaxseed at Trader Joe’s in the cereal aisle with the various oatmeals.

I took some into work today for my co-workers.

I handed out a a bunch of Peanut Butter Energy Balls to co-workers today. Of everyone I got feedback from, the energy balls got a thumbs up. (And they could possibly be a cure for Spring Forward exhaustion. OK, maybe not. But they could help, just a little.)

Here’s the recipe again, in case you want to try it yourself:

1 cup regular oatmeal
1/2 cup … Continue reading

My fungi dinner

Last night I experimented with portobello mushrooms, avocados, soyrizo and a few other ingredients.

My friend James recently told me about an experiment he made in the kitchen and it sounded delicious.

I tried to remember everything he told me and changed mine up a little as well.

I took two portobello mushrooms and placed them on a cookie sheet. I sliced up grape tomatoes (which would have been yummier had they been sweeter) and placed them under the mushrooms. (James recommended pico de gallo.)

On top of each mushroom I placed 1/4 of one of the soyrizo casings. I sliced half an avocado and placed it on top of the soyrizo. Then a little cheddar cheese and last, ripped up a piece of Sara Lee Delightful wheat slice as bread crumbs.

I baked in the oven. I started at 350 and that seemed to be taking too long. So I upped it to 400. 375 is probably ideal for about 20 minutes or so.

I had the second mushroom tonight for dinner. I think it was even more delicious tonight as the mushroom had marinated in its own juices over night.

The only change I would make is add a … Continue reading