Month: August 2015

My Favorite Weight Loss App + Exciting News!

My Favorite Weight Loss App & Exciting NewsSo, y’all know that I’ve been busting my ass to lose weight and get healthy and I don’t think I could’ve been successful without my favorite weight loss app – LoseIt! I’ve been using this app off and on for a few years and, each time, I’ve been successful at losing weight. It just sucks that I self-sabotage and throw myself off the wagon.

I’ve used many apps over the years but I much prefer LoseIt to all the others. You earn badges for accomplishing certain goals, which helps with motivation. By far, one of my favorite features is the challenges. You can compete in challenges with other users and that is a great way to hold yourself accountable.

The awesome folks at LoseIt have made it super easy to count calories because they include brands and restaurant foods. The app also uses your location to help you find restaurants near you making meal planning on the go so much easier. I pay for the premium subscription ($29.99 per year) and I have access to many more features, such as glucose monitoring.

Now, on to my exciting news!

I was contacted by LoseIt last week because they read my blog post and wanted to learn more. I spoke with 2 amazing women at LoseIt and learned that they want to feature my story in their upcoming campaign. How exciting is that?! The campaign begins on September 21 and it’s all about losing weight and getting healthy your way. I’ll share more information as it becomes available.

I’m beyond excited to be part of something so huge! And, they hooked me up with some awesome LoseIt gear!

LoseIt Goodies

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Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

My favorite dish at Ruby Tuesday’s is the spicy shrimp pasta but I don’t always get to eat there. So, I decided to make my own variation and it’s absolutely delicious! Because I know exactly what’s in it, it works perfectly with my healthy eating plan. Yes, I could choose better meals but this is a treat for me.

Made from whole grain pasta (not wheat!), this dish is a great way to satisfy your carb cravings. Feel free to add in any veggies you want and the spicier the better!

Parmesan Shrimp Pasta
 
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A spicy, creamy shrimp pasta that is absolutely delicious!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 15 peeled and cooked shrimp
  • 2 oz. Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Penne Rigate
  • 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning
  • ½ c. Bertolii's Light Alfredo Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Boil pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Dice tomato; mix with shrimp. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning and mix well.
  3. Heat Alfredo sauce, making sure not to burn it. When hot, add to shrimp mixture.
  4. Drain pasta and put on a plate.
  5. Pour shrimp Alfredo mixture over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 483 Fat: 14.4 Saturated fat: 5.7 Carbohydrates: 43.4 Sugar: 2.1 Sodium: 1172.9 Fiber: 5 Protein: 50.8 Cholesterol: 378.8

Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

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How I Manage My Raging Sweet Tooth!

I don’t care who you are, we all have a sweet tooth. Sometimes, we try desperately to ignore it thinking it will go away only to learn that it gets worse. Well, at least is does for me because that’s all I think about. Before my diagnosis, my sweet tooth ruled my life and I indulged it every change I got. But, things are different now. I’ve learned a few things about cravings and how to deal with them effectively.

Indulge Slightly!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving in to your sweet tooth, but make sure you indulge wisely. Don’t raid your cupboards for cookies or your freezer for ice cream. Grab a banana or other fruit to nosh on instead. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT sabotage yourself just because you want something sweet. It’s not worth it!

Fresh Fruit
Cantaloupe and honey dew are two of my favorites!

Find Alternatives

I read that nuts are a great source of protein so I started buying cashews. They’re my favorite so I was thrilled to learn I could still eat them! I’ve realized that, when eating cashews for my morning snack, I don’t crave sweets nearly as much. How about that?

I’ve also fallen madly in love with the Fiber One Strawberry Cheesecake bars. Cheesecake has always been my weakness but I’ve never liked it with fruit. These bars are delicious and satisfy my craving for sweets and cheesecake without all the other crap that goes along with it. I have been telling everyone about these and a few of my friends have also fallen in love with them. Yes, they’re that amazing! Go get some – I guarantee you’re going to love them.

Fiber One Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
DELISH!

Change the Subject

Sometimes doing something different will get your mind off of your sweet tooth, especially if you’ve already indulged. I usually get an attack of the sweets between dinner and bedtime. That’s definitely not the time to indulge so I’ll change what I’m doing to get my mind off of it. My husband thinks I’m totally crazy, but what else is new? 😉 Ironically, sometimes playing Candy Crush on my phone works so I usually save my lives for that purpose. I just realized how that sounds, but, hey, whatever works! I don’t want to exercise that late in the evening because it energizes me so I have to find non-active alternatives. It may be different for you so find what works for you and have at it.

The moral of the story is to find out what works for you to manage your sweet tooth healthily. Whatever you do, don’t let your craving for sweets derail all of the good you’ve done. But, if you fall off the weight loss wagon, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on that sucker as soon as possible! Just like you have a bad day at work, you’re not always going to be on point with your weight loss. Life happens, but the faster you get back on track, the better you’re going to feel.

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Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

I love pizza but it doesn’t always go along with healthy eating. That is, until now. I found the idea for a flatbread pizza on Pinterest and modified it to suit my tastes. I mix it up with garlic flavored flatbread to add a bit more oomph to it. It’s very filling, super yummy, and really easy and quick to make!

It’s a quick and easy lunch for when you want something not-so-healthy but don’t want to wreck your healthy eating. I don’t even miss regular pizza!

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza
 
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Satisfy your craving for pizza with this delicious, healthy alternative!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Flatbread
  • 1 Tbsp Pesto Sauce
  • ¼ c. Mozzarella Cheese, low-fat
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. Mushrooms
  • ¼ c. Red Onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pesto sauce on flatbread.
  3. Sprinkle basil on top of pesto sauce. Add veggies and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Notes
I used the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce instead of the original. It's more like pizza sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 527 Fat: 17.9 Saturated fat: 5.9 Carbohydrates: 70 Sugar: 10.6 Sodium: 1211 Fiber: 4.7 Protein: 22.1 Cholesterol: 25.6

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

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Dieting: The Old Fashioned Way

Dieting The Old Fashioned WayDieting is hard but making a lifestyle change is even harder. I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook since I was diagnosed, and I’ve been bombarded with people selling Cize, 21 day fix, and so many other diets. Admittedly, I was interested, at first, with Cize but quickly changed my mind after seeing the $140 price tag. Let me just say this now – there is no quick fix for weight loss. I’m not into drinking my meals (shakeology or spark) or spending a ton of money on stuff that’s here one day and gone the next.

I’m doing this the old fashioned way! That’s never a fad. I’m not knocking those who choose to take that route, I’m just saying it’s not what I want to do. I got thinking about the future, my future, and how a fad diet will impact that. Will I be dependent on one of those diets to maintain my weight loss? I wasn’t willing to risk it. I’ve got enough to deal with now as it is.

It seems as though we all want dieting to work overnight but it doesn’t. I’ve learned that losing weight slowly increases the chances of keeping it off in the long-run. That’s what I want. I don’t want to lose weight and gain it all again.

This isn’t a diet for me; it’s a lifestyle change. The only way I’m going to be successful is to change my eating habits and exercise regularly. I have to learn to change everything in my life if I’m ever going to be successful.

As for workout DVDs, all I can say is that YouTube is a wonderful thing. You see, we have a smart TV (that’s not exactly what I call it, but….) so I can sign into YouTube via an app. That means I have access to a ton of workout videos on the big screen. It also means I can workout wherever I have an internet connection so there’s no excuse for me missing a day.

So, to all those people who have hit me up wanting me to buy something, save it because I’m not buying. There are only 2 things I’ve purchased to help me and that’s the FitBit Charge HR and a premium subscription renewal to LoseIt. I refuse to buy “trainer” food, workout DVDs, or shakes. It’s just not worth it for me.

Losing 20 pounds in 21 days sounds amazing but it’s really not healthy or realistic. Don’t spend all that money on crap if you absolutely don’t have to. Think about this – I lost 14 pounds in 21 days simply by eating healthy and moving more. Trust me when I tell you that eating healthy is far less expensive than those fad diets and it lasts a lot longer.

I’m not here to judge or tell anyone how to reach their goals. This is all about me, my journey, and the choices/decisions I make. If you want to give them a shot, go for it and I wish you the best of luck. For me, it’s just not how I want to reach my goals.

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Dining Out with Type 2 Diabetes

Dining Out with Type 2 DiabetesDining out happens but there’s no reason to be intimated by it. I used to be so scared to eat out with the family, but, after learning a lot, I’m not anymore. Even with type 2 diabetes, I’ve found that I can still enjoy a nice meal out without wrecking it all.

The first couple of times we dined out, I went right to the chicken Caesar salad because it was low in carbs and calories. Last week, however, I branched out and ordered a dish with meat and veggies. The hardest part for me is ignoring the bread (it’s my favorite) but I’ve done it for 3 weeks now. You know, you’d think they’d offer different types of bread for weight conscious people, but I digress.

Dining out doesn’t have to something you avoid, whether you have diabetes or not. The one thing that truly helps me is the LoseIt app because it has restaurant foods, which makes it easier for me to pull up dishes from major chain restaurants and fast food joints.

I have a strategy for dining out now that I didn’t have before my diagnosis. I’ve learned how my plate should look thanks to the American Diabetes Association, and I keep this in mind when ordering. While the recommended plate setup is 1/4 plate starch, 1/4 plate meat, and 1/2 plate veggies, I use a variation while dining out. I order double veggies with the meat entree instead of a veggie and a starch. I don’t know what’s in the starch or how much comes with the meal so it’s much safer for me to order double veggies.

If I’m not ordering a salad as my entree, I’ll start with a salad as an appetizer. This is good for anyone who’s wanting to drop a few pounds because you’re not as likely to eat the entire entree. I’d much rather fill up on veggies than something heavy. I test my sugar first thing in the morning, so my dinner has to be on point at all times.

If you’re dining out for breakfast, I highly recommend staying away from sugar as much as possible. We went out to Denny’s a few days ago for breakfast and that caused me a great deal of anxiety. Breakfast contains many of my favorite foods, such as pancakes, french toast, eggs, sausage, scrapple, toast, and syrup. OMG – syrup! Anyway, at Denny’s, I ordered 2 egg white, 2 sausage links, and the blueberry wheat pancakes. It was roughly 500 calories, which is high for me, but I had all day to burn it off. I ate all of the eggs and sausage and half of the pancakes, and I measured my syrup so that I didn’t use as much. That was a big deal considering that my pancakes or french toast is usually drowning in syrup.

When dining out, I’m really strict about what I order for dinner but not so much for the other meals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned with the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar in each meal but dinner is the one that I worry about the most.

What it all comes down to is speaking up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want at restaurants so that you stay on track. You’d be amazed at how accommodating restaurants can be with customers. I used to be one of those people who didn’t want to make a fuss but not anymore.

Image courtesy stockimages

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3 Ways to Handle Disappointment on the Scale

3 Ways to Handle Disappointment on the ScaleI’ve heard and read many different things about weighing in. Some say you should weigh in once a week, others say you should weigh in twice a month, while others say to weigh in daily. Ugh – who knows what’s right; I just want to keep up-to-date on what’s happening with those numbers. With that said, I’ve started weighing myself daily, but that’s brought about many disappointments. However, I’d rather know what’s going on from day to day than think that I’m doing right when I’m not.

Don’t Dwell on the Number

The number on the scale is just a number. Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds, especially coming from an obese woman, but it’s true. That number does not represent who you are as a person! As humans, our weight fluctuates daily and it’s even worse if you’re a woman. Since I’ve been weighing myself daily, I’ve seen the numbers go down and up – way up. I’ve seriously thought about throwing my scale a time or two but, fortunately, that thought was fleeting.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your weight, but dwelling on it can cause further disappointment, frustration, and may cause you to give up all together. Do not let that happen!

Use it as a Learning Tool

The number on the scale is a learning tool for you to stay on track with your efforts. Weighing myself daily has allowed me to see which foods I need to stay away from in order to maximize my weight loss. For example, I had pasta last week (whole grain, of course) and I retained so much water from that meal it was ridiculous! I now know that I need to steer clear of pasta if I want to see the numbers go down. It also showed me that I’m going to retain water if I eat pasta so I know what to expect.

Learning which foods trigger water retention and which foods don’t is a great way to change your eating habits for the better. If you’re a woman, you know you’re going to retain water at least once per month. Even if you know when your “visitor” arrives, you may not be aware of when you begin to exhibit symptoms of it. This is a good time to get to know your body better so that you’re aware of when your body holds onto water. Don’t let that throw you off!

Up Your Game

Use the number on the scale to keep you motivated to up your game! Increase your exercise, especially if what you’re doing is getting easier for you. Our bodies often become complacent with a routine if we do it for too long. That means that we don’t burn as many calories or fat doing a routine we’ve done for the last 6 weeks. Some people recommend that you change your exercise routine every six weeks to keep this from happening. Although having a routine is perfectly normal and acceptable, we need to make adjustments as our bodies change in order to keep it working efficiently.

Add an extra five or ten minutes to your routine, change the time of day you exercise, or simply add a walk 2-3 days per week. It doesn’t take much to change it up a bit to get the numbers moving in the right direction.

The moral of the story is that the scale does not define you and you shouldn’t let it! Use it to your advantage and you won’t be intimidated by it anymore. You’re still going to get frustrated from time to time, but at least you’ll be fully armed with the knowledge to understand why the numbers went up.

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