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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Recipes to Try

Breakfast: Super Seed Oatmeal
Serves 2

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla soy, hemp or almond milk
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup frozen blueberries or mixed berries, thawed
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp ground hemp seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cook oats according to package directions, using soy milk instead of water. Mix remaining ingredients together and stir into oats.
Dinner: Goji Chili Stew
Serves 6

3 cups diced plum tomatoes or 1 (28-oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium plum tomatoes
1 lb frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
10 oz frozen chopped onions, thawed
2 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup goji berries
2 large zucchini, diced
4 oz chopped mild green chilies
4 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
2 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 (15-oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 (15-oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked red beans or 1 (15-oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium red beans, drained

Cover and simmer all ingredients, except precooked (or canned) beans, for 20 minutes. Add beans and heat through.
Dr. Furhman's Chocolate Cake
Serves 12

1 2/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups pitted dates, divided
1 cup pineapple chunks in own juice, drained
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raw beets, shredded
3/4 cup raw carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raw zucchini, shredded
3 tbsp natural, nonalkalized cocoa powder
1/2 cup currants
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Nut Icing
1 cup raw macademia nuts and/or raw cashews
1 cup vanilla soy, hemp or almond milk
2/3 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup brazil nuts or hazelnuts
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

In blender or food processor, purée 3 cups of the dates, pineapple, banana and applesauce. Slice remaining 1/2 cup dates into 1/4-inch pieces.

In large bowl, mix sliced dates, beets, carrots, zucchini, cocoa powder, currants, walnuts, water, vanilla and flour mixture. Add the blended mixture and mix well.
Spread in a 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the icing, use a high-powered blender and combine all icing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread on cooled cake.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When You Need Support--Find It

Because I need support, I signed up for this awesome program.

Here are the rules for the Maintainers' Health Competition, otherwise known as The Sisterhood of the PLC. For those of you who have been doing this competition already, note there are a few minor changes listed below. 

Pay $30 for four weeks of competition and declare your goal weight and eating plan to me via text/email. 
Pay by the end of the day today, March 18th. You can pay through PayPal  or email me your eating plan of choice (see below) and your weight you are striving to maintain (for example, I am following Weight Watchers and my personal goal weight is xxx).

Everyone pays their $30 at the beginning. Every person wins back her $30 for having kept all the rules throughout all four weeks. You get one freebie day each week for each of the following rules: Exercise, Journal, Water, Sleep, Veggies, and Communication. There are no freebie days for the Meal Plan rule, but you do get 2 free meals each week. Each meal has to be consumed within a 1 1/2 hour period. There is no freebie day for the Weigh-In rule except what is outlined below in the Weigh In section. For each rule that is broken (beyond the freebies built into the competition) you lose $10 of your $30. Once you lose your $30, you are not required to pay up for any additional broken rules, you're just out your money and ineligible for winning money from the pot. All "lost" money from breaking rules goes into the pot and will be disbursed evenly at the end to those who have kept all rules throughout the competition or have earned back all their money lost throughout the competition.  You can earn back your lost money the following ways: 1. Completing an extra two hours total of exercise in a one week span will earn you back $5. You can do the additional 2 hours at one time or break it up throughout the week, but this has to be in addition to the required 20 minutes a day.  2. Eating an additional cup of veggies every day for an entire week will earn you back $5. This means you have to eat at least one cup of veggies on your "free day" from veggies. Thus, no one is out money unless they break rules and fail to earn back the money by completing the above requirements. The 9 rules are listed below.

RULE #1: Maintaining Weight

Everyone in this competition has the goal to maintain her weight. Starting weight is the weight you decide is best for you to maintain. You'll need to declare this to me, but you don't have to share it with everyone else if you'd rather not. The original goal weight you declare at the beginning will be your goal for each week. You need to weigh yourself every day each week and average your weight for the week (Add up your weight from each day divided by 7) to determine what weight you maintained on average for the week. If that average weight is equal to or less than your goal maintenance weight, you have successfully kept Rule #1 for maintaining weight. If it's higher, then you lose $10 for breaking this rule. You'll want to choose your goal weight wisely. :) 

RULE #2: Meal Plan
Follow a meal plan every day--just pick a type of meal plan and stick with it--could be counting calories; low-carb; 3 sensible meals plus 2 snacks; 5 meals consisting of a protein, a "good" carb, & a healthy fat; Weight Watchers; no sugar, wheat, dairy, etc.....For each day you deviate from the range you've established in your plan, you lose $10. For people doing the calorie counting plan, you've broken this rule for that day when you go 100 calories above your range or below 1100 calories. Note: If you follow Weight Watchers, due to the Weekly Point allowance, you only get 1 Free Meal each week instead of 2 Free Meals.  (I’m using the Fitness Pal ap on my IPad and will consume a maximum of 1600 calories a day and burn 300-400 calories through exercise. I know that my four mile run burns about 400 calories. My goal is an average of 1200 calories a day.)

RULE #3: Exercise
Exercise at least 20 min. per day (In addition to your free day off, you can combine 2 days into one—do 40 min. in one day instead of 20 min. on two different days—but you can only do that once a week)
RULE #4: Journal
Write in a journal every day; it does not have to be shared with anyone—can be emotional writing (how you’re feeling, why you’re eating what you’re eating, etc.) or a food/exercise journal (how you feel when you eat certain things or do certain exercises), weight watchers food journal, etc. 
RULE #5: Water
Drink at least 8 cups of water a day
RULE #6: Veggies
Eat at least 3 cups of veggies a day--tomatoes count as a veggie and you can drink V8 or something like it for 2 of the veggies but have to actually eat at least one veggie or make your own juice. (For veggie recipes, visit my pinterest food board at 
RULE #7: Communication
Communicate with at least two other competitors daily--that means 2 points of communication each day, which can be through Facebook, a text, a phone call, an email, etc.
RULE #8: Sleep
Sleep at least 6 hours a night - or if you have a newborn/kid with night terrors situation/etc. just make sure you have a six hour stretch after going to bed and before getting up in the morning.

RULE #9: Daily Weigh-In
You’re required to weigh yourself daily.  You can weigh more than once a day and can use your lowest weight of the day for that day's weight, but don't be obsessive with the scale! You are allowed two freebie days from weighing in throughout the entire four week competition but it has to be on a day you legitimately forget to weigh or don't have access to a scale. And only one weigh freebie can be used in a week period. Both cannot be used in the same week. You cannot take your highest weight of the week and drop it or anything of the sort.
Rule #10: Reporting
Each week you need to report to me your week's average weight and if/how many mess ups you had that week. The week goes Monday through Sunday and you need to report EACH week by Monday at 6pm PST. Failure to do so will result in a loss of $10. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Six Steps to Effective Change

I serve in a leadership position in my church. Because of this, I get to visit local churches and listen to the stake presidency give a different talk on the same scripture each week. Last week I wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I couldn’t find the notebook I usually bring to church to take notes so I grabbed an old one off my shelf. When I settled on the pew and opened the notebook, I saw that it was from five years ago and the struggles that I had five years ago I still struggle with! In fact, if anything things are now much worse. About the time that depressing realization hit, President Brennan held up a little card that has our stake goals written on it and said, “You may wonder why our goals are the same this year as last, but until we have seen real, measurable improvement we need to continue working on our goals.” And it hit me, I don’t need to be sad or discouraged, I just need to have measurable improvement.

I need to change and fortunately, years ago I took a workshop on how to create effective change and according to the class, you need six things:

1.       The belief that it’s worth the cost.
2.       Knowledge—you need the knowhow.
3.       Friends who love you and support you.
4.       A changed environment (because right now, your environment is perfectly suited for your current lifestyle.)
5.       A reward system.
6.       An action plan.

I’ll admit I struggle number one the most. Ten years ago I successfully lost the 15 pounds I had gained with my twins and I kept it off for many years. But after the weight loss, other than dropping two dress sizes, my life wasn’t really any different. The people who love me love me whether I’m big or small. I still have the same chores to do when I feel ambitious and the same books to read when I feel like lounging. And so when life got busy, crazy and stressful with a houseful of teenagers combined with a four year long stint as a relief society president I regained the fifteen pounds plus nine more.

But now the last of the teenagers are walking out the door. My life isn’t busy, crazy or stressful—in fact, at times it’s boring and empty. Instead of a noisy tribe sitting down at the dinner table, it’s usually just me and my husband. I need to decide what I want this next chapter of my life to look like…how I want to look and feel and I decided that I need to leave this depressing middle-aged slump and abandon the lumps that have grown around my middle. Is the size 6 important? Not really. I could set down my battle with lumps, turn my generous backside on it, walk away and say I don’t care. But somehow the depressing slump and lumps are connected—I need to abandon the slump and get excited about my new (somewhat empty) life and fill it full to the brink. By pulling myself out of the depressing slump—I will also get rid of the twenty pound lumps.
So—recommitting to my six challenges necessary for effective change, here is what I did and what I’m doing.

1.       A belief that your goal is important. See above.

2.       Knowledge—you need the knowhow. Although I feel like I’ve been a student of weight loss for many years, I recently committed to a daily reading of health books and articles. Even if it’s only one page a day and even if I don’t totally agree with the diet, just getting into that “my body is a temple and needs proper love and nourishment” mind frame is important for motivation. I also made a doctor’s appointment—just to keep it real.

3.       Friends who love you and support you. I have this in abundance, but I need help so I recently found an online challenge group of dieters that communicates daily and signed up for the next session that begins on March 18th. So excited.

4.       A changed environment (because right now, your environment is perfectly suited for your current lifestyle.) We have a cupboard full of granola bars, nut bars and fruit snacks. Since these snacks are for my teenage daughters to take to school and since once I eat one granola bar I want to eat three, I moved the entire contents of that cupboard to the trunk of my daughter’s car. One granola bar isn’t a problem. Three granola bars tell a different story. I bought protein bars for when I need something sweet. Unlike the granola bars, I can’t eat more than one protein bar without feeling ill.

5.       A reward system. This is another struggle. I have a hard time rewarding myself without guilt, maybe because I already think my life resembles a pleasure cruise. So I borrowed something I saw on Pinterest. I took two pretty glass cylinders and put twenty pennies in one. With each pound lost I move a penny into the other cylinder. Not a penny is lost or spent—only pounds.

6.       An action plan. My plan is simple. 1200 calories a day. Actually eat sixteen to seventeen hundred calories a day and burn 400-500 calories a day. I’ve been a runner most of my life and my four mile run is a little more than 400 hundred calories, a five mile run is 500 calories. You get the picture.

Did you notice how the action plan is the last—and actually the least important? Life and weight loss are really just head games.