Weightloss: Can healthy eating really sustain you?

Food glorious food. I can remember that from the movie Oliver Twist. I just loved food. Fried food, junk food, and desserts. I thought having a good day meant getting a good meal to eat.What is so funny is that I am a pretty picky eater so I didn’t like a lot of food but the food I did like I overindulged.  When I changed my Lifestyle I had to reprogram my thoughts about food and my relationship to it. I had to focus on healthier eating but can “healthier” food really be fulfilling?

Yes, surprising I don’t feel deprived at all. I eat well with lean proteins, whole grains, veggies, low-fat dairy, and fruit. I purchased an inside grill so I grill my meat most of the times.
salmon

Lean Proteins
The lean proteins that I eat are red meat, pork, fish and a variety of Jennie-O turkey products.  Believe it or not you can get 96% lean beef at your local Safeway. I also found 96% lean burger patties at Smart and Final. If I buy steak I make sure it is lean. I buy those very thin pork loins and for fish I mostly eat Salmon and Tilapia. Eggs are another source of protein that is good. I use Eggland’s large eggs.  Bean are also a good source of protein. You can really spice up the food with natural spices and herbs.
Mixture of Fruits and veggies
Whole Grains
I use the Sara-Lee Delightful Whole Wheat bread which is only 45 calories per slice. I must say this bread is indeed light and good. My husband likes the Oroweat Whole Wheat Sandwich thins which are 100 calories. I like to use these for hamburger buns and egg sandwiches. I use the whole wheat penne for my pasta but I don’t eat pasta that often. I will also eat brown rice. I keep it pretty simple but there is a wide variety of whole grains you can choose.

Veggies
Veggies are always good. I use carrot and celery sticks for my snacks. I eat spinach, broccoli, peppers, and greens. I cook with onions and mushroom often. I keep it simple with veggies because I have a food allergy to corn and cauliflower. I don’t like to experiment too much because I will suffer. I found my favorites and they are good enough for me. But if you live near a Farmers Market, Sprouts, or Whole Food the options are endless.

Low-Fat Dairy
Dairy isn’t something I eat regularly but I will have some low-fat cheese or 1% milk. My husband drinks Almond Milk  also uses yogurt as a substitute for mayo.

Fruit
I love fruit. Red grapes are my favorite, especially frozen.  Fruit can be an alternative to those sugary desserts and some fruits are very sweet.

Alternatives
I found a great alternative that help tickles my fancy. The alternative is Bolthouse Farms Yogurt dressing. These dressing are delicious. My favorite flavors are Ranch and Caesar Parmigiano. These dressing are low in calories and fat. They can be found at Safeway in the fresh pre-cut veggies section. I have made garlic bread using the Ranch dressing and Chicken Alfredo with the Caesar Parmigiano.

An alternative to my sweet tooth is Quest Protein Bars. My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The good thing about these bars are they high in protein and fiber. I typically have one for either a snack or afterwork protein. When I have a chocolate craving I will grab a bar. My husband uses the Nugo bars.

An alternative to soda can be sparkling water. Most stores will have their versions of flavored water. I really like the Key Lime and lemon flavors. However, be careful  because a lot of them have artificial sweeteners which may be toxic to some people.

The key to eating healthy is choosing fresh unprocessed foods whenever possible and try using in season fruits and veggies.  Always review nutritional labels to make sure you make an informed decision on what foods you eat. You can find some great healthy recipes on Pintest.

Weightloss: Staying on track during a Vacation

Going on vacation can be both exciting and scary when you have started on a healthy journey.  On pasts vacations you may have said statements like “well I am on vacation”, or “this is my vacation” when you indulged. I know that is what I thought about when I was preparing for my 7 Days cruise. I was a bit anxious but I developed a plan before we even set sail. My plan involving taking my “go to food” which was  Quest Protein bars, locating the gym as soon as I boarded, and finding the healthy places to eat.

I packed two boxes of the Quest bars for me and two boxes of my husband’s protein bars. I also took a box of our favorite sweetener and my favorite tea. I wanted to make sure I never had to compromise during my meals. This worked great; between meals we ate a bar (if needed) and during the meals I used my tea and sweetener.

Once we boarded the ship we located the Gym and developed a schedule to workout based on the hours of operation. We also signed up for a TRX training class.  In addition, we found decks on the ship (6,7,8) that were perfect for walking. We worked out (cardio and strength training) 4 days out of the 7 in the Gym. The other times we got off  the ship and walked at least 3 miles and walked the decks after each meal. Surprisingly I averaged over 15K steps a day.

For our meals we decided to eat most of the time at the Horizon Buffet because we could control what we ate and the portion sizes. The Crown Grill (A steak house) was the only other place we went for dinner. We went there 4 out of the 7 days. We didn’t eat any appetizers or desserts. We both stuck with a protein and veggies.

Overall we did excellent on this cruise by incorporating our normal healthy routines into our cruise. We were very active and enjoyed ourselves.

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Enjoying a healthy meal at the buffet

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Walking on the Deck

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Going for a walk

Weight-Loss: How do you make that change?

Obesity is a serious problem because it begets serious and fatal diseases. Unfortunately, companies make unhealthy foods taste better by design. Like an addict, knowing all of the facts didn’t help me initially make the necessary changes. Infact, I was obese for over 20 years. Year after year my doctors would tell me “You Need to Lose Weight”.  I tried different diets and fads which worked for months then life got in the way and I started eating unhealthy again.

Yes, we know now that successful and lasting weight-loss only happens when you make a Lifestyle change. Knowing what you need to do; how do you make the necessary change? Like all problems, you need to first identify the root cause. I can point out many reasons why my weight-loss was finally successful but the one thing that made the difference was identifying my triggers. Losing weight is wonderful but if you don’t deal with why or how you became obese you may never overcome obesity.

Consequently, discovering your triggers may be problematic. I know I never wanted to give up the foods I loved and it always seemed like an uphill battle because I am a food addict, I love the taste of good foods, and I am an emotional eater.  What is so difficult about overcoming all of my struggles is you need food to survive. Food addiction is not like drugs or alcohol or even smoking. Getting help for those vices are typically covered under a medical plan, there are non-profit helps groups, and society recognizes them as diseases. You can stop using drugs, drinking alcohol, or smoking and still continue to live. But you cannot stop eating food and survive.

Once you discover your triggers you then have to get rid of the excuses. I know there are many reason why you live an unhealthy life but if is up to you remove all obstacles in your way. It took me years to slowly remove my excuses and boy did I have them. Knowing why I eat and removing all the reason why I “couldn’t” put me in the “right mindset” to finally make that change and execute my weight-loss Plan.

My change progress
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