Friday, June 29, 2012

Will I Ever Be A Size 2? NO! Do I Need To Be? NO! :)

First, I've just got to say I KNOW THAT WEIGHT IS ONLY A NUMBER.  It doesn't necessarily determine how kind you are, how beautiful you are, what kind of integrity you have...there are a lot of other values that are more important than the health standards you maintain.  At the same time, I know for me, I feel better when I take care of myself.  And if I feel better, I can take better care of others, be more kind, feel more beautiful and be confident and have the kind of integrity I want to have.

I remember for a while I didn't even want to try losing the baby-weight.  I felt like I was good mom regardless of what number was on the scale, so what did it matter?  The result?  I ended up over-indulging in junk food.  I ended up really out of shape, making it impossible to keep up with my kids in a ten minute game of tag.  As a result I felt worse about myself and depressed.  Basically, I wasn't living my life to its fullest.

Do I still get depressed?  Yes.  But it is a lot easier to get out of if I've exercised and am eating good foods.  Remember, according to my doctor, 45 minutes of intense cardio is more effective than a dose of Xanex!

Will I ever be a size 2?  NO.  Do I need to be?  NO.  Like I've said before, size doesn't matter so much as taking care of and respecting yourself does.  Taking care of yourself means eating lots of frutis and veggies and getting regular exercise.  Respecting yourself means allowing yourself the time to do so.  Will you lose weight and get more fit along the way?  Probably.  But that's simply the bonus from the other already rewarding choices.

It's funny, now our "treats" aren't really treats.  We had pizza last night, just a couple cheese slices, and both my husband and I were not feeling too well afterwards.  Our body is trained to not like that grease anymore!  LOL  So, if I was going to add my own tip to the list I'm about to share with you, it would be to only eat things that will let you still feel good after eating them. :) 

It's funny, but some of my favorite articles on health have come from Men's Health Magazine.  I don't know if the voice writing the article just sounds more practical than the one's in women's magazines, but whatever the reason, it's great to have some concrete ideas that connect and work.  It feels like I always need some new tips to keep the motivation up, and keeps my body changing.  So when I enjoyed this article, I wanted to share it.  You can find the entire article 61 Easy Ways To Lose Weight by clicking on the link, or I will be including it in 3 segments on my blog (minus some of the ads.)  Here is the first chunk, with my favorite tips highlighted.  What are some of yours?  Please comment! :)  Love, Eva

From the article...

A few years ago, one of my friends at Men's Health stepped on the scale and was horrified by the result. He'd somehow managed to pack 20 pounds of flab onto his previously skinny frame. When he looked into the mirror, he saw a fat guy staring back. He decided to make a change, quick. 

That day, he gave up his beloved soda. He was only drinking two or three bottles a day, but over the course of six months, he dropped those 20 pounds. It was a small change to his lifestyle -- no big deal, really. And yet, it had a massive impact on his health and his body. (No surprise: Drinking calories is one of the 20 Habits That Make You Fat.)

My point: Making small decisions each day can result in big-time fat loss.

Below are dozens of simple ways to lose weight. Start with one -- today! -- and watch the weight begin to melt away. Trust me, this is going to be easier than you think.

1. Have a clear goal. It should be one that anyone in the world can measure and understand.
2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea -- black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea versus herbal tea -- have lower BMIs and less body fat than those who don’t consume tea.
3. Eat cayenne pepper. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin -- the active ingredient in cayenne -- increased fat burning.
4. Decrease/eliminate processed carbs. They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.
5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories. Just avoid the high-calorie dressings.
6. Eat more fruit. No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit. And that includes the so-called "high sugar" fruits like bananas and melons.
7. Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.
8. Cut down rest time between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned. The good news: You can sky-rocket your heart rate and torch belly-fat fast with The Spartacus Workout for Men and The Spartacus Workout for Women -- the most popular fat-blasting workouts in Men's Health and Women's Health history.
9. Do intervals. Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective and time efficient than longer activity
10. Eat more protein. Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism -- through something called the thermic effect of food.
11. Eat protein more frequently. It's important to also time your intake so you're eating protein regularly throughout the day -- not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner. Every meal and snack should include some protein.
12. Supplement with fish oil. A study published in Lipids fed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA -- a.k.a. fish oil. The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat. Other studies have shown similar results.
13. Do full body exercises. Think: Squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and push-ups. You'll get more bang for your buck out of each workout. Want even better results? Discover the 100 Greatest Fitness Tips of All Time.
14. Cycle your carb intake based on your activity level. Sure, carbs are important. But on the days you don't work out, you simply don't need as many compared to the days you exercise hard. Rule of thumb: The more active you are, the more carbs you can eat, and vice versa.
15. Start your meals with a salad. Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up -- so that you eat less calories overall.
16. Don't forget the fiber. Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full.
17. Drink water. Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from Virginia Tech University found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks. The reason? It helps fill you up.
18. Add beans to your salads. It's a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein and healthy carbs.
19. Replace one meal a day with a large salad and lean protein. This is a simple way to instantly improve your diet.
20. Keep a food journal. There's no better way to track what you're putting in your mouth.
21. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never supersize. Instead make sure you're following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Again, It's Been A While...

Sigh.  I don't remember exactly what I wrote in my last post, but I didn't reread it because I as curious to see how today's comments would compare.  Again, I've had a long gap in writing.  Did I learn something and then already forget it again?!  I seriously think that is one of the most important reasons to journal.  It's kind of like taking notes on life.  In a class we learn things every day, or at least write them down so we can review them and really get them into our memory.  Life is the biggest, longest class, with the most learning opportunities!  So here are todays notes for me...

When I write I'm happy.  When I exercise I'm happy.  It may be difficult during the process.  I may get interrupted 20 times and have to remind my kids that the toys they have out are plenty and now it's "Mommy's quiet time" but IT IS WORTH IT.  When I've exercised, I may be sore, but I walk with my head held higher, my posture better and my smile bigger.

Does it solve all my problems? NO.  Do I still have squabbles with my husband?  Yes.  Do my kids still try to convince me their room IS clean, as I can see in and view dirty underwear on the floor?  YES.  But at least I know I've done something for myself no one, or bad moment can take away. :)

For the last 3 days I've exercied consistently, more than I can say for the past 3 weeks.  And guess what?  I just wrote again too.  I know they are connected.  One good choice leads to another.

And it's that connection with myself, learning from myself  and with other mommies and friends out there that keeps me going.

Love, Eva

Monday, June 4, 2012

An Eva Update...A Milestone...And Some Recipes!!!

WOW!  It feels like SO LONG since I've written!  It's only been two weeks, but it really feels like a lifetime.  What have I been up to?  A crazy, good time!  Sophia graduated Kindergarten!  My parents and sister came to visit for a week!  We all got the flu!  It's been awesome!

And, dun-duh-duh-dun!!!!!  After several weeks of losing .4 lbs or so, I am finally in the 150's!  So glad I didn't give up, although I did give up trying to turn this picture around...
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Mostly, I've just been living the life I've wanted to be living, which is why it's been hard to sqeeze in a lot of writing time.  Yes, I still have down moments.  Sam is NOT sleeping very much!  (again, why it's hard to find time to write)  But I'm getting through the melt downs and moving on.  Eating healthier and fitting in exercise isn't always the tastiest or funnest (yes funnest is a word!  I'm an English Major!)  but I know it makes for a happier Eva in the big picture, so it's worth it.

I got a great phone call from my sweet mom today who said visiting with me "inspired" her to start eating healthier, walk more often and plant a garden.  GO MOM! :)  She in return inspired me to hop back on here and share some basic meals I use to keep me healthy and give me time to really live life.  For me, a healthy lifestyle is like keeping a clean house.  It's not necessarily the MOST important thing in life.  But by staying on top of it I'm FREE TO DO the important things in life.  

For the first time the other day I played with my kids and they got worn out before I did!  HA!

I'm wearing clothes that two months ago I was going to donate, or even worse had just bought only to get home and find out the size I thought I was was too small.  Well, they fit me now!

I know we are saving money by eating-out less and cooking more, as well as having more quality family time.

So, here are some quick, inexpensive meals I cook regularly...

Chicken Quesadillas- I use mozzarella chz or fat free chz for mine- both are lighter than regular cheddar cheese.  If it seems dry you can put in some light cream cheese too.  Don't even think about using butter!  There's no need, with the cheese and some spices thrown in if you like!

Ground Turkey Tacos- Make sure to put some beans in there, lettuce, and tomatoes and olives- whatever veggies you like!

I load up on the cilantro and fresh lime for extra flavor for both of these meals!
I've also been making fresh salsa by throwing some sweet peppers and a tomato in my food processor, along with 1 tbsp of Fat Free Italian dressing and 1 tbsp of oil.  So yummy!  Eat it with cucumber slices and smother your taco with it like I do! :)

Homemade Pizza- By homemade, of course I mean store bought dough!  I've got three kids to watch and a workout to fit in people!  Our Wal-mart had two wheat ones for under $5 in a pack.  Throw on some sauce and cheese and again turkey pep or chicken for meat, and lots of veggies and you have a great, tasty meal for the whole family.  Serve with a salad!

Spaghetti- So easy to make a healthier version by using Heartland or Garden Delight noodles or any that have dried veggies in the pasta.  Saute some veggies (in 1 tbsp of olive oil or canola oil only if you HAVE to use it) and cook up some ground turkey.  We've been grabbing the premade turkey meatballs to make the healthy meals happen that much faster.  Use your leftover pizza sauce and you're good to go!

Stir-Fry- I know "Fry" makes you think fatty- but not necessarily.  I basically steam all the veggies and microwave or George Foreman Grill the chicken and serve it on brown rive with some yummy low-sodium sauce.  Yes, it swirls in the wok a little to mix the flavor, but nothing is actually fried- Delicious!

I hope these ideas "inspire" you to cook something lighter.  There's your menu for the week!  I've done the hard part, right?  LOL  Have a great one!  Love, Eva