Ch-ch-ch-chia

Dole Chia Clusters

Dole Chia Clusters (Photo credit: theimpulsivebuy)

And I’m not talking about the chia pet, although I’ve always thought they were kind of cool…looked at the chia cat grass thing that was in stores before Christmas…was secretly hoping someone would buy one for me for a gift…but I guess it was not to be…anyhow, I’m getting off topic here.  What I’m talking about is chia seeds…one of the latest healthy food trends.

I read several healthy eating blogs and kept reading about using chia seeds in smoothies, in oatmeal, in baking…I even went so far as to look at them in the store.  That’s when I noticed how expensive they were.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I can be a little cheap  frugal and don’t like to pay a lot of money for something that I probably will end up not really liking anyhow.  So I passed on the chia seeds.

The other day I was looking at dried fruit and noticed the Dole chia & fruit clusters.  Hmm…let’s read the label…12 clusters per serving at 120 calories…okay, that’s not bad.  Ounce for ounce, chia seeds provide 2 times more omega-3 than walnuts, 3 times more fiber than oatmeal, 5 times more calcium than whole milk, 26% more protein than an egg…sounds good, huh?

So I made the plunge…made the purchase…jumped on the chia bandwagon…well…it’s okay, only okay, not awful, not gross, just okay…maybe I’ll like them more once I’ve stopped eating refined sugar for a month or so…maybe then I’ll come back and say they’re better than candy.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They’ll still be okay…but they are good for you so that has to count for something, right?  Right?

Kind of struggled today

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yep, my first day on the new program and I struggled.  Only got a little over two hours of sleep last night and had to go in to work.  I decided to exercise before work since I wasn’t doing anything except tossing and turning anyhow.  I was afraid I was going to be exhausted all day, but was surprised by feeling fairly energetic.

I really focused on my hunger levels today, eating only when I was hungry, but not allowing myself to get too hungry.  I brought healthy food for lunch and snacks and stuck with them.  Sounds good, right?  Well, when I sat down at the computer to enter in all I’d eaten and drunk over the course of the day, I was more than a little surprised to find myself below 1000 calories for the day…couldn’t tell you the last time that’s happened.  I added a little more that I’ll eat before bed if I’m hungry, but that doesn’t seem likely now.

It’s interesting to really pay attention to how you feel before eating something and then to notice when you’re full enough.  Is this what people who have never struggled with their weight do, maybe without realizing they’re doing it?  Hmm…

Birthday treats

logo

logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, today really isn’t my birthday…that was last month.  But my step-sister took me out to lunch today as a birthday treat!  And it really was a treat~

We went to Olive Garden where we both ordered our usuals..soup, salad and bread sticks along with iced tea….yum!  Then we sat there eating and talking for 2 hours!!  We haven’t been able to do that since I don’t know when…you know, everyone is so busy nowadays and it’s so difficult to coordinate our schedules.  But this was just the best way to spend the afternoon.

I feel so blessed that, when my mom and Kathy’s dad married, our families blended seamlessly.  I didn’t grow up with a sister, but I honestly feel like Kathy is the next best thing to a blood sister…heck, maybe even better…seems like when you grow up together you carry a lot of baggage in that relationship.  We all still get along well and enjoy spending time together…now if I can just see a little more of my niece and nephew and their families…

I’m still smiling over the pleasant visit we had today…thanks, Kathy…talk to you later!!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 129

Kroger sign at North High Street and West Nort...

Image via Wikipedia

Funny start to my day today.  I got to work  a few minutes before 5 this morning.  Waiting in the parking lot for my boss to show up (we can’t go in the building by ourselves), about 5:08 my phone rings.  He said he just woke up and would be there as soon as he could.  I told him I’d go across the street to Kroger to pick up some things for lunch and breakfast for myself for the next few days (I was planning to do that tomorrow morning anyhow, so it wasn’t that big a deal).  I talked with the lady working there for a few minutes (hmm…maybe about our bosses…I’m not saying that’s what the conversation was about, but could be) and still made it back about ten minutes before he showed up.  But it all turned out okay, now I don’t have to stop at the store on my way in to work in the morning and can sleep for a few minutes longer.

You know, I made a mistake when I went to Kroger this morning, I didn’t buy any produce.  How crazy is that?  I only bought frozen things to keep in the freezer at work.  Okay, I know, those things aren’t absolutely the healthiest choices (really, I did not intentionally write that as a play on words), but they are convenient and they keep me from going out to a fast food place on the days I don’t bring my lunch.

I ended the day with four fruits and veggies.  Not that great.  I did have a good idea though for the next time I go to the store.  I’m going to buy some cottage cheese and fruit and have that for dinner for a few days.  It’s light and generally healthy…maybe a little more sodium than I need (who knew cottage cheese had so much sodium?), but it’s quick and easy and good for me.

I did core exercises and stretching before I left the house this morning.  Then I walked for 20 minutes, plus up and down a ladder with heavy boxes quite a few times before we opened.  So an okay amount of exercise. 

Now to tackle the sleep issue.  I need sleep, desperately.  When do we change time anyhow?  Next weekend?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 128

Christmas decoration at a shopping mall in Brazil

Image via Wikipedia

Wow!!  What a wild day.  Nasty weather, temps dropping, rain and mist all day, windy…brr…definitely not a good hair day…ha!!  And believe me, I sprayed on extra hair spray this morning before I left the house…all to no avail…when you’re outside in this stuff unloading a truck (really, there has to be a better way to do these trucks, if only I could get those bigwigs to listen to me)  there’s no point in worrying about how your hair looks.  And now there’s a frost advisory for tonight…there go my little volunteer grape tomatoes…

Oh my gosh, I just read a blog about one of the healthiest sounding chili recipes…Nikkianne posted this blog and I’m determined to make this recipe for chili…just the way she made it.  I’ve been wanting to make a pot of chili for a while and keep putting it off.  No more…this will be the one.

http://nikkianne.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cocoa-corn-chili/

My eating was pretty good today.  I was tempted to go out to eat lunch even tho I’d brought my healthy lunch from home.  I think, more than anything, I just wanted to get out of the building and away from people for a while.  But I went back to the break room and nuked my lunch and was satisfied.  Ended the day with five fruits and veggies, so that’s decent.

Other than working the truck and doing some range of motion exercises for my shoulder, I didn’t do any exercise.  Of course, working that truck is constant motion for over eight hours.  And I’ll be right back at it at five tomorrow morning…trying to get some extra work done…ho ho ho, I love Christmas so much!

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I don’t have to buy a lot, but I have already purchased a few things.  Should probably get with that so I’m not doing it any closer to Christmas, you know, going into stores and stuff…I shudder at the thought!

 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 97

The Head Ache

Image via Wikipedia

Wow, I went from accomplishing a lot of necessary things yesterday (and having some fun) to getting next to nothing done today.  I woke up with a bad headache.  Usually, when that happens, it goes away once I get up, get moving, and have breakfast and tea or coffee.   Not today.  Not a migraine, but not  a little, simply annoying headache…you know, the kind that you can just go ahead with your day, the headache bothers you but doesn’t keep you from doing what you need to do.  Nope, this one was one of those I have to go back to bed and I need quiet headaches.  I finally started feeling better around 3 pm, the headache is still there, but not to the point that I can’t do a little.  But a little is all I’ve done.  I did assemble my new carpet steam cleaner (yep, the old one bit the dust) and baked a pan of pumpkin pieless (pumpkin pie filling without the crust).  What I really need to do is get some housework done.

My eating has been pretty good today…that’s what one of those headaches will do for you!  I’ve had just under 1400 calories for the day.  Not much exercise though.  I did walk for a little while this afternoon, but nothing too strenuous.  Maybe tomorrow…

Along about 1 pm today, I heard a lot of noise from the little park area across the street from my building.  I climbed out of bed and stood at the window to see what was going on.  Apparently some group was going to have a get-together over there (they allow church groups to come in and have cookouts and games for the people in the complex) complete with a live band…NOOOOOOO!!!  I have a severe headache and a band is playing just across the street?  Seriously?  Just a few minutes after they started playing their loud music the rain started coming down…aww…what a shame.  They had tents up, but it wasn’t long before they packed everything up and headed out…too bad…Sorry for all of the people who were looking forward to some entertainment, but I was so glad to see them leave…hopefully they won’t be back later tonight…they wouldn’t do that, would they?  Please, please, no…

So, how was your Saturday?  Got any plans for tomorrow?

Break room etiquette

Etiquette (album)

Image via Wikipedia

If you work outside the home and share a break room with your co-workers, there are a few simple rules of etiquette that you (and they) should follow to make your breaks more enjoyable.

1. Clean up after yourself.  Now wouldn’t you think that everyone would understand this one?  Apparently there are a lot of people in the work force who think their mother  is going to come in and clean up their mess.  That’s the only thing I can think of, otherwise why would anyone leave food or beverage spills on the table?  Or a mess in the microwave?

2.  Push your chair back under the table when you finish.  Okay, this may just be one of my pet peeves, but our break room is small and, if the chairs are left in the middle of the floor, you have to shove them out of the way.  So just do everyone else a favor and slide your chair under the table when you get up.

3.  Don’t bring stinky food to work with you.  I’m thinking fish, but I’ve also smelled particularly strong garlic odors…so strong that you can smell them throughout the store.

4.  Don’t spread your stuff all over the break room table…other people need to use that space too…it’s not your personal table, it’s a shared space.

5.  Don’t eat someone else’s food.  Again, you would think this would go without saying, but you’d be surprised how often I have to listen to someone complain that their food has disappeared.

6.  If you bring food to share with your co-workers, bring enough for everyone.  People tend to get their feelings hurt when someone brings food to share with everyone except them.

7.  If you bring food to share, make sure it’s still good…don’t bring something in that’s past its expiration date….yuck!

8.  Take your lunch bag, containers, coffee mugs, water bottles, etc home with you at the end of the day.

9.  Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter or table. 

10. Don’t leave shared food that needs to be refrigerated out on the table.  Surely you don’t want to make anyone sick…right?  Right?

11. And last, but definitely not least, clean up after yourself.  Oh, I already mentioned that?  Well, it bears repeating…as far as I know, your mama doesn’t work here!

On blueberry muffin hill

Blueberry muffins…yum!  Who doesn’t like a good moist blueberry muffin?  But don’t most of us also want something that’s at least somewhat healthy?  I try to make my muffins from scratch using whole grains and fresh fruit, but when time is short (or I’m feeling kind of lazy) I’ll resort to the boxed muffin mixes.  Fortunately I found this…

Is it as good for me as what I would make using one of my healthier recipes?  Mmm…no.  Is it better for me than something sweet and sugary from the vending machine?  You bet it is.

These muffins, baked according to the package directions, still have 210 calories per muffin.   I make them smaller by making 18 instead of 12 and that reduces the calories to 140 apiece.  This is just one more indication that what we now consider to be a serving size is much larger than it was in the past.  So I still get to enjoy a freshly baked muffin without going overboard on calories.

Can I make a lower calorie, healthier-for-me muffin?  Yes, I can.  But there are times in life where we make trade-offs, this is one of those times…calories for convenience.  I don’t do this all the time, but it’s nice to know I have the option.  Now I have a good supply of muffins in the freezer.  I can pull one out in the morning, put it in my lunch bag and it’ll be thawed and ready to eat for my morning or afternoon snack.  If that can keep me from putting that dollar in the vending machine, I think it’s worth it. 

How to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store

Grains in bulk

Image by RahelSharon via Flickr

Okay, everyone knows you should always shop with a list…and stick to it…no impulse purchases.  Plan your meals and snacks for the week, then make sure you buy everything you need for them so you’re not tempted when you have to stop at the store to pick up that jar of cumin that you need.  

Never, ever shop when you’re hungry.  Same goes for when you’re exhausted.  Shopping when you’re either hungry or tired (or even worse, when you’re both)  will cause you to pick up whatever looks good, whether or not it’s good for you. 

Don’t cut out coupons for junk food.  If you have coupons, you’ll be more tempted to buy it because, well…because it’s such a great deal.  And who among us can resist a good deal?

Try a new fruit or veggie every week.  Or a new, healthy recipe.  The more healthy food you have on hand, the less likely you are to reach for the junk.

Buy whole foods…food your grandmother would recognize.  Chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a product, it’s not something your grandmother would have eaten.  I do make exceptions to this rule.  My grandma never ate yogurt or soy or Mexican or Italian food…but I think she would have at least been familiar with the ingredients used in them.

Plan to do some cooking.  You know, real meals.  Not stand at the kitchen counter and eat meals, but the sit down at the table with silverware and napkins meals.

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always recommended by experts.  That’s pretty good advice.  Usually your produce, meat, and dairy are on the perimeter of the store.  But the freezer section is also a great place to find some healthy choices..just avert your eyes from the ice cream and pizza when you walk by…quickly walk by.

Do some of your shopping at health food stores where you can purchase a lot of your staples in bulk.  That can save you money and help you avoid temptation by allowing you to make fewer trips to traditional grocery stores.  And these staples are great to have on hand when you decide to create your healthy go-to meals.

And my number one most effective way to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store is to simply not go to the grocery store.  Yes, I’ve discovered that I often go to the grocery store just because it’s Saturday (or whatever day is grocery shopping day for you), not necessarily because I need anything.  I was planning to go to the grocery store today and looked at what I actually needed (nothing).  Then I questioned myself about why I needed to go to the store if I didn’t need anything and wouldn’t need anything for several days.  I realized I was thinking about buying pizza and ice cream, neither of which do I need from a health stand point.  So not going to the grocery store today kept me from buying any kind of junk food at all…and saved me some money on top of that.  Not bad, huh?

What are your tips for avoiding junk food purchases?

 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 58

alarm clocks kill dreams

Wow…58 days.  And today was a good one.  I ate a lot of fruit and veggies today, took my lunch and snacks to work, had fish and corn on the cob for dinner..yum!  And work was fine…I was a little tired…had my alarm set for 3:50 am (had to be at work at 5 am), woke up about 8 minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  I decided to just go ahead,  get up and start getting ready…I walked back into the bedroom when I was just about ready to go…looked at the clock and realized I’d gotten out of bed at 2:42 rather than 3:42…what?  I could have slept for another hour?  Oh well…

I walked today for 35 minutes and that was the extent of my exercise…I want to get back to doing more, just have to get a routine going again.  I ate a little over 1600 calories for the day, so that’s good.  I’m a little disappointed to have only lost 13 pounds in 58 days…tells me I’m not really working hard enough at this…too many days of eating more than I should and exercising less than I should.  But  I have stuck with it for 58 days, so that has to count for something, not sure what, but something.

So how did your weekend go?  Are you planning any last of summer get togethers?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 651 other followers