Monday, August 13, 2007

Congratulations Becky!

Becky got married on Friday July 27th and she looked fabulous for her big day, don't you think? Not only did Becky lose weight working with me as a lifestyle coach, but she also instilled some new healthy lifestyle habits. The big one for Becky was starting to eat breakfast. Becky started as somebody who told me that would never happen to a person that couldn't go without breakfast. This small change made a big difference in Becky's weight. Becky also found that through the lifestyle coaching making healthy choices became more of an automatic decision rather than agony. Things like flakies and french fries began to lose their hold on her. Ordering healthier choices at restaurants became a preference rather than a duty. Becky also started to do meal planning and regular grocery shopping so there were healthy food choices right in her house. Not only did Becky lose weight but she gained a lot of skills to keep it off and stay healthy. Congratulations Becky!!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Only 4 sleeps left

Today is my final dress fitting, then I get to take it home! Three walks last week with my Mom - but the weekend was waaay to busy to get to the gym. But we did walk to the restaurant for dinner on Saturday night, instead of taking the car!

One struggle this week will be proper meal planning, with all the running around. I literally have no idea where my meals are going to be coming from, as I don't know where I'll be. With the wedding dress in the closet, I'll be sure to watching what goes in my mouth!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Only 11 sleeps left

I was definitely "emotional" eating this weekend - food went well, balanced meals, but the snacking....there were chips & pepsi everywhere!!! I got it all out of my system and we're down to the final count. Now all I have to do is maintain the more emotional eating.

If one more person asks if I'm stressed, I'm going to hit them over the head with a block of cheese. I don't physically feel stressed, but obviously this weekend with the snacking....there's a little bit there.....BUT, I don't need to be reminded!

I got up walking this morning for 35 minutes with my Mom. Planning on doing this all week and next. I'm e-mailing my coach once per day with my food intake, and have given her full permission to call me and yell at me if there is something she doesn't like!

One week till the dress fitting, I am so excited to see it without beadwork and hemlines all over the place!! The outfit will finally come together....I just have to fit into it (not that I'm worried)!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

I am travelling again this week, and will have to watch the eating out - make the healthy decision at meals while at restaurants. I do believe after all the "coaching" this week, and with the wedding deadline coming up in just 18 days - I'll be able to control the urge to eat junk!

I packed my swim suit in hopes of having a pool at my hotel - I'll find out in about an hour when I leave the office. If not, then I'll be going for a walk, as it's finally stopped raining here in Montreal......

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Flash Forward almost two months....

It is now just 23 days before my wedding and I sit at 158 pounds. I have had my second dress fitting, and they once again had to take the dress in around the hips/under my arms. With all the bead work in the bodice of the dress - the seamstress was not very happy! But, I had told them in May that I was actively trying to lose weight.

I am three pounds from my goal of 155, but I have been instructed by the dress shop to not try and actively lose weight. My goal for the next three weeks is going to be to maintain the 158 - as when I am stressed, I will eat. Unlike most brides, I will not lose weight because of stress, I'll have to be watching that it doesn't come back on!

I have continued eating breakfast every morning - but it is hard now with the rest of my meals, as I'm staying at different friends houses now before the wedding, as I gave up my apartment at the end of May. That doesn't make for very balanced meals, and something I have to actively watch and plan for. For example, today Sean (my fiance) brought all the items to make a wrap for both of us for lunch - but instead of making it himself this morning, I'll be preparing them at lunch. But....hey, it's better then heading down the street to Wendy's for lunch!

If the last three pounds does come off, then I will be very happy. But I have to admit that all the compliments that I have been receiving from friends, family and coworkers makes me pretty happy with 158!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Putting things into writing....

...makes you realize how bad you're actually eating!

This was a bad weekend for nibbling, but I did actually make it to the gym on Saturday and will be going for a run tonight, as I have to work late.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Baseball season begins....

...I just got the call, and the baseball season has begun. Tuesday night begins a double-header every week of baseball - yipee! More exercise to add to the regime. This week during my call, we discussed accountability - and I'm going to be e-mailing my food log (as we seem to talk about accountability on my part all the time, but now we're doing something about it) to my coach every day. As well, she is going to e-mail me regarding the days I've promised to go to the gym. All in the name of...... 155!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It doesn't pay to binge....

So last week was a right off, so much for a Tuesday morning return to the regime! More like a week Tuesday, but now that I'm back on track I'm feeling really good. Exercise hasn't been that great this week, I've been to the gym once and would like to start walking in the morning, now that the weather has finally turned nice.

My binge caused me to go up over 160 pounds again, which irritates me every time I get on the scale. 160 is a big hurdle for me to get over and will be my focus in the next week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Weekend Binge

So I went away this past weekend for four days to Halifax for our shareholder's weekend - and I ate alot. I have to admit I knew it was going to happen and I really enjoyed myself. But....I was also planning how I was going to return to the new "norm" on Tuesday morning and thought about how much I was going to enjoy it. After having fish and chips for the second time this weekend on Monday, I was already beginning to crave my raw veggies and salad lunches! I started off this morning with my bowl of cereal and then had a balanced lunch - I've been drinking water all day and I actually had a cup of Jasmine Green Tea this moning. Something new I'm incorporating into my diet!! I checked this morning and I gained two pounds while I was away (not bad considering what I ate, but we did a LOT of walking) and this week begins the drive to 155!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Green Tea & Protein Bars

So I was at Wal-mart last night and finally remembered to buy green tea and protein bars. I'll let you know how I like both in another week after I've tried both!

Monday, April 23, 2007


This morning I got on the scale and I was 158.2 - let me tell you I'm getting that pedicure and manicure by this weekend. With the beautiful weather this weekend, my toes didn't look that great in sandals!

Tonight is my next spinning class and Wednesday I'm trying a body sculpting class. I'm also getting groceries tonight, with my meal plan in place so I'll know what to cook for the next two weeks.

In addition, I will be adding some working out, at home in the mornings - some push-ups and other exercises to start trimming the "overall" look!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My First Dress Fitting

So I put my wedding dress on for the first time......and it was too big! They had to take it in about 1.5" on either side of my chest and ribs! The ladies in the dress shop were asking what I'd done to lose the weight - and my response breakfast and exercise!

My dress is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I told the seamstress that I had five more pounds to loose to my goal. She said I could do that before my June dressing fitting - then none after that!!

I am sooooooo happy!

Another great article:

Chicken Nuggets? by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get my nutritional feathers ruffled.
I’ve seen a lot of things that have made me crazy over the years and
you’ve heard me harp on them—from “healthy” whole wheat donuts to
artificial sweeteners, Olestra and acrylimide. I’ve sang the siren’s song
about good nutrition and what I believe too, to be common sense nutrition.
Why would we drink something, in the name of quenching our thirst, that
looks like toilet bowl cleaner or antifreeze?

Anyway, today I stop singing and start sounding the alarm. We absolutely
must stop the madness that is fast food. We absolutely must stop the
stupidity and the obesity and the rise in degenerative diseases. We are
raising an unhealthy generation because we feed this crap to our kids!

I know there are attempts at some fast food places to do better. As Oprah
says, “When you know better, you do better.” Well, today you are going to
know better about chicken nuggets, because today, I am going to tell you
all I know about them.

First, McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain 38 ingredients. Yes, THIRTY
EIGHT ingredients! Some of those ingredients are things you wouldn’t give
to your DOG. Some of those things, you could use to start a fire. Tertiary
butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a derivative of petroleum that is spray on the
nugget or in the box that holds the nugget to keep it fresh. It is a form
of butane, also known as lighter fluid. It is also a suspected
carcinogen—cancer causing agent.

The batter is set in shortening (hydrogenated oils) and in turn, it is
cooked in partially hydrogenated oils at the restaurant. Some of the
additives in there are antifoaming agents, emulsifiers, leavening agents,
preservatives, fillers and binders. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Something
you’d want to feed your kids?

The nuggets themselves contain 53% chicken. You wanna know what that 53%
chicken is? I promise you it isn’t nice white chicken breasts! If you find
those nuggets spongy and watery it’s because the chicken meat and skin is
ground into a slurry, binders and fillers are added, plus lots of water,
then formed into neat little nuggets.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ILL. Why do we manufacture stuff like this
and then call it food? Where’s the value in it?

Please, for the children’s sake and for your own health’s sake, let’s stop
this craziness with the food. It’s time to get back to basics and only eat
food that is 100% identifiable. If you don’t know exactly what went into
what you’re eating, you’re making a mistake. Our bodies do not need to
contend with more pollution than what is already in our environment.

Friday, April 13, 2007

For the upcoming week....

So I have discovered spinning classes - I am not a sweat"er" (i.e., a person who sweats profusely), but let me tell you it is dripping of me once I'm done one of these one hour classes! I am still struggling to get below 160 - currently at 161 and decided to change up the fitness abit, to see if that will be get me to my next goal!

I have a few goals for this week, and they are as follows:
- try to make it to two spinning classes and once weight training
- buy some jasmine green tea - to try and cut out the pop intake, great idea to make the jasmine green tea, cool it down and then add some honey/lemon to make iced tea
- I'm going to do some more meal planning this weekend - Sean was sick this week and I was travelling, so there is still a lot of groceries to eat up this week
- in anticipation of spring arriving some time soon, I'm going to look into local dog parks this weekend, that we can take Tonka to and let him run around with us off the leash

Only three days until my first dress fitting - let's see if I can drop that last pound before then!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Meal Planning

One of the things that my lifestyle coaching clients quickly discover is that without meal planning their weight loss goals are close to impossible to achieve. Here is an interesting article I received in a newsletter today that covers off why meal planning is so important.

Know What’s for Dinner! by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

If you don’t know what’s for dinner today, welcome to the club—it’s a big
one! 90% of America will not know at 4:00 PM today what they will be
serving in just a few hours. Out of that 90%, some will opt for heating up
a frozen pizza or calling the pizza guy for delivery, some will battle the
crowds and snag a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, others will
choose the drive thru or go out and the last few will try in vain to put
something together with the odds and ends ingredients in their pantries
and fridges. All of these options have STRESS written all over them.

I’m not saying you can’t do any of these things occasionally; it’s just
that when this becomes the way you do dinner, it’s more haphazard, less
nutritious and way more stressful than it needs to be.

The easy button is your pantry and fridge being properly stocked, your
grocery list being filled out and used when you go to the grocery store so
you can keep your pantry and fridge stocked and of course, having a menu
that reflects your week, so you know what days you can cook and what days
you need help (the days you’re schlepping kids to sports, dance, music
lessons, etc.)

Let me define “help”. Help to me comes in the form of my crockpot, a
frozen dinner that I’ve made thawing in the fridge for that night,
leftovers, sandwiches, breakfast for dinner and a last resort, take out or
the pizza guy. The rest of the time, I make dinner and although it rarely
takes me over 30 minutes to make a meal, the other options I just listed
take half that time and really save me on the busiest nights.

It is just as simple as I’ve outlined it. The very first place to start is
with a menu that reflects your needs, a grocery list to reflect the menu
and a trip to the grocery store!

Today is the day you turn from the world of fast food and repent! Become a
convert…a crock pot convert that is. Use this wonderful apparatus
regularly and watch what happens to that face of yours when your kids ask,
“What’s for dinner?” You will smile because you have an answer! Here is a
great crock pot dinner you will love, and so will the rest of your family!

Crock Moroccan Chicken and Veggies
Serves 6

4 skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 (16 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 small red bell pepper, de-ribbed, seeded, cut into 1 inch squares
1 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Hot cooked couscous or brown rice

Place garbanzo beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, raisins, tomato paste,
water, garlic, chicken bouillon and cumin in 5 quart slow cooker. Mix
until well combined.

Place chicken pieces on top of bean mixture. Cover and cook on low heat
setting 6-7 hours, or until chicken is tender.

Before serving, stir in peanut butter. Serve over couscous or brown rice.

Per Serving: 385 Calories; 10g Fat; 27g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 9g
Dietary Fiber; 49mg Cholesterol; 670mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain
(Starch); 2 1/2
Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Add a green salad and some whole grain pita bread.

VEGETARIANS: Skip the chicken and add an extra can of garbanzos.

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Wedding Dress is in....

....and I am going for my first fitting on April 16th - that leaves about 2 and a half weeks to reach my goal. Only seven pounds to go! After my talk this morning with my coach, I realized how much the goals are mine and I will be the only one not to make them if I don't make a concentrated effort - thanks for the push off the cliff Doctor! That push, coupled with a date for my first dress fitting has spurred me on - BREAKFAST EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Free Telecourse: Why diets don't work!

I thought I would let some of my friends in blogger land know about a free telecourse that I am holding next week.

Why Diets Don't Work
We don't fail diets, they fail us!

Are you frustrated, discouraged and depressed over trying to lose weight? Do you think why bother? Are the emotional and physical deprivations of diets getting you down? Then you need to join us for a lively and informative phone call where we will discuss why diets are an ineffective means of achieving long term health and weight loss. The problem is not personal will power. Diets are unnatural and unrealistic and present health- threatening restrictions that you should know about.
Date: Tuesday April 3rd, 2007
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST

To take charge of your health and your weight e-mail to register for this free phone call.

What's a telecourse?
Instead of having to book a flight, hire a babysitter, find a hotel and schlep through airport security to attend a seminar, you simply dial-in to the teleseminar phone number at the scheduled time. You’ll join your fellow participants and the seminar leader on the phone call. Teleseminars consist of lecture, Q&A, and discussion, all over the phone.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I ate eggs for breakfast

I actually cooked a couple of eggs yesterday for breakfast.....and ate them in an english muffin as a sandwich. Yeahhhhhh....protein for me in the morning, one of my goals achieved! This morning I am enjoying my rye bread and peanut butter..........more protein for me (a trend is starting.....).

As well, on Saturday afternoon/night, we were going out for St. Patrick's Day and I wasn't sure what kind of food I'd be eating at the pubs - so my goal was to make lunch my biggest meal of the day. I actually baked two pieces of chicken around lunch on Saturday and ate one of them with a very large salad, including some chunks of cheese (notice the protein theme again....). The second piece of chicken is in the fridge at work today and will be put on another big salad, along with a of variety nuts (protein again......)!

Tonight I'm heading out to the bulk store to find hemp seed nuts and then I'm going to pick up some chickpeas - all additional sources of protein. On my next grocery order I'll be adding brown rice to the mix.

Only 5 weeks till my first wedding dress fitting!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007


If there is one thing I have difficulty with it is motivating my lifestyle coaching clients to eat a BIG breakfast. Breakfast should be like any other meal of the day and include whole grains, fruits or veggies, and protein. It is intended to break the fast! Eat up! Get that metabolism going!

Pictured here is an idea for breakfast. It is meusli that you could make the night before and grab on the go in the morning.



1 cup organic oats
2 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 cup plain yogurt (replace yogurt with soy milk or yogurt of rice milk for a great vegan option)
2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. sliced almonds
1 cup fresh or frozen berries

1. cook up 1 cup of oatmeal according to directions on the package (avoid using the microwave it at all possible!)

2. Toast the nuts and seeds. Cut the apples into bite sized pieces and cover with lemon juice. Mix all ingredients together and cover and place in the fridge to enjoy for breakfast in the morning.

For extra protein, you could have it with a hard boiled egg, boiled the night before as well!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Winter veggies - ugghhhh!!

So the bean sprouts were a bust - they were already bad by the time I went to use them last night for my chicken stir-fry. The snow peas were really yummy though, and I have the rest to eat raw today with my lunch! I added green/red peppers, carrots and onion to the stir-fry, along with chicken and rice - it all combined to make another tasty meal!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Meal Planning 101

So my goal in the next two weeks is to "meal plan". We went to the grocery store on Saturday and I had a list of items I needed from recipes I had pulled from one of my cookbooks. This way, when I go to cook something after a long day at work - all the ingredients are in the cupboard! Monday night we had a great recipe with chicken, broccoli, mushrooms in a "low cal" soup/sauce over rice - yummy! Tonight after going to the gym, we'll be having chicken stir-fry! I've been really turned off this winter by the vegetables and when I saw bean sprouts and snow peas on the weekend, I decided to give them a try in a stir-fry.

Another goal for the next two weeks is to eat some sort of protein at breakfast - this morning I enjoyed my english muffin with peanut butter and tomorrow morning I'm actually going to boil an egg - yes....I'm going to make an effort and actually cook something for breakfast!

So we had to change the time for our "coaching" calls - due to the travelling, but also having our time scheduled for 4:30 pm (way too much going on at the end of the day), we have now adjusted to a 9:00 am call starting this Friday. I realized this week when we spoke how much I actually missed the calls the previous couple of weeks (both due to my fault) and being able to re-focus/re-group for the coming week.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Back to regular life....

Well the conference is over and I'm back to "normal" life, at least for awhile! Since I've been back last Friday, I've gotten to the gym twice and played ball hockey last night. I'm really feeling focused again on getting below that 160 mark! I wasn't going to give myself a goal to get to 160 - I thought it was too close when I got down to 162.4, but I'm realizing very quickly that it's not going to be easy and that I need to remain focused - with my eye on the prize!!

I weighed myself this morning and.....

Weight: 163.2

Body Fat: 33.0

Water: 48.9 %

Bone Mass: 6.5

I've learned from my coach that my prize must be a non-food item (because previously I would always reward myself with food - my goal before coaching to get to 165 was a Vachon Flakie!!)....... My birthday is in 11 days, and if I can get down below 160 prior to my b-day, then my prize is going to be a manicure/pedicure - I don't get them often, but with the winter months my hands and feet could use them!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

First day out of the province for work....

...and the lunch that was provided was quite balanced - the hotel supplied soup, sandwiches, salad and small deserts. Front reception at the hotel even has bowls of apples!! I brought a bag of rice cakes with me to get me through the flight yesterday, but was glad to see not only a fridge, but also a microwave in my room. I plan on hitting a grocery store tonight to pick-up some fruit/veggies and some snacks to get me through the week.

I'm heading down now to the workout room to the treadmill, as I have an hour before my next meeting!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Last night I went with two of my bridesmaids to order their dresses for the wedding and while I was there, I got the owner to re-measure me. I wanted to see if I was any smaller then when I was there in September - and my hips were down 1.5" !! Talk about an uplifting moment, now that is incentive!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When time gets scarce......'s very hard to maintain a diet. I've gotten slammed at work over the past couple of weeks - typically working until 6:30 pm-7:00 pm and I definitely don't feel like cooking a balanced meal when I get home. We also missed a week of getting groceries and had no fresh fruit/veggies for snacks - although I have been maintaining my "snacks" from the pre-approved snack drawer, instead of going to the vending machine.

A lack of time also means not getting to the gym for my required # of times - something else I am struggling with - it's either get all three visits and ball hockey or just ball hockey, there doesn't seem to be a happy-medium.

One thing I am nervous about is that I feel great just being down five pounds - and I don't want to stall in the weight loss. To reach my goal, I need to lose approximately another 10 pounds!

I also have a challenge next week as I'll be out of the province for work, which means lots of restaurants..... I'm going to have to be very conscientious in what I eat and snack on! We'll have to see if I have a fridge in my hotel room and I can buy some snacks when I get out there. I know at the breaks they typically always have cookies/danishes, etc. for snacks!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Muscles weighs more than fat........right?!

As of this morning......
Weight: 163.8
Body Fat: 33.2
Water: 48.7 %
Bone Mass: 6.5

How is it that the week that I actually make it to the gym 3 time's (and have great workouts) + play ball hockey - I gain weight??!!!!! GRRRRRR..........

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

KitKat & Aero "Singles"

So I was out at lunch buying some things at Shopper's Drug Mart and noticed that KitKat and Aero now have "Singles" - a serving of their chocolate bar that is advertised as 80 calories per bar. I bought one of each kind for me to try, and another two for Sean and brought them back to the office. I ate the KitKat one, which was a nice treat, then thought I'd try the Aero one and felt almost sick with all that chocolate! I ended up only eating 1/6 of the Aero bar and gave the rest to Sean.

I haven't eaten a lot of sweet stuff in the last 3 weeks and was shocked to find how turned off I was by the chocolate bar (although as previously admitted, I am a "salt" lover) - I then proceeded back to my desk to munch on carrot sticks!

Yeah me!!!!

Fruit Smoothie's

So I'm eating my first fruit smoothie this morning - this one is a mix of raspberries, strawberries and cranberry juice. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to add a 1/2 banana to sweeten it up a bit - this one is a bit tart (but still tasty)! I made two this morning and brought one into Sean at the office - if you're going to make one, you might as well make two.

Luckily it is cold out - my three (3) km's to work took me a half hour and they barely started melting in the car while driving! These would be very refreshing in the summer - I've got the heat blasting in my office to counteact the cold outside and the cold smoothie!

Another smoothie tomorrow morning and I've reached my goal for the week!

Monday, February 5, 2007

I made it through another weekend

So it was Super Bowl weekend - not that I am any sort of fan of football, but I did get together with a couple of girlfriends to watch "Never Been Kissed", amongst other TV shows throughout the night. While the men gathered around the TV for their annual fill of football (seriously, I don't think Sean watches football on a regular basis, except the couple of weeks prior to Super Bowl) with their steaks and snacks, we had our own munchies to snack on!! I then proceeded to eat pizza, hickory sticks, pepsi and to top it off with a chocolate pudding dessert - while all scrumtious, not on my "plan" to lose weight before the big day.

I'd gotten on the scale on Saturday morning (which I am vowing never to do again during the week and to wait until Thursday mornings) and I was up a couple of pounds, which set the tone for the weekend of "while I might as well snack since I'm having a bad week". We also went for lunch at Swiss Chalet on Sunday and I'd enjoyed my usual - quarter chicken with fries/salad, again not with the plan!

One bonus, I did manage to pick up some additional groceries on Sunday afternoon - including veggie/fruit snacks and my frozen fruit (due to the pitiful state of veggies/fruit when the snow flies) for the smoothies. My plan is to do some damage control the next three days, by exercising and being really conscious of what I eat, prior to hitting the scale Thursday morning (you know that whole, getting back on the horse thing.....).

Tonight, we are again going to the gym right after work, but have plans to leave work a bit early so we can work out, then get home early enough in the evening to eat (i.e., not at 9 pm) and of course watch one of our favourite shows - Prison Break!

Tomorrow morning begins the fruit smoothies - I promise, I'll let you know how it goes!!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Eating Fruit in the Winter

One of the things about living in Canada in the winter is the abysmal state of fresh produce. We have to get creative when it comes to getting in our 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables. During our last coaching call Becky and I talked about some other ways to get our 5-10 fruits and vegetables when the produce section looks in such a sorry state in January and February. Consider eating canned and frozen fruits and vegetables in the winter months. Don't forget dessert recipes such as apple crisp as a way to eat apples that aren't as crispy or tastey as they are in the fall. This makes a huge quantity to be enjoyed throughout the week. Or, consider halfing the recipe.

Apple Crisp
(Taken from The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil & Rosie Daley – thank you Carolyn Fiset)

12 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup light-brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375
Toss the sliced apples in a large bowl with the cranberries, lemon juice, 1/3 cup of light brown sugar, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and the whole wheat pastry flour. Pile the apple mixture into an 8x10 baking dish.
Mix together the ingredients fro the topping and spread over the apples. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes more until the apples are soft.

How is this part of a nutritious meal?
• Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels. Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. High cholesterol levels correlate with the build up of plaques in blood vessel walls. If these plaques become damaged or simply grow too large, they can rupture, blocking a blood vessel and causing a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots elsewhere in the body. Lowering high cholesterol levels can therefore significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
• Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. One medium (5 ounces) unpeeled apple provides over 3 grams of fiber, more than 10% of the daily fiber intake recommended by experts. Even without its peel, a medium apple provides 2.7 grams of fiber.
• Cranberries have long been valued for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Now, recent studies suggest that this native American berry may also promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Woo hoo!!!

As of this morning......

Weight: 162.4

Body Fat: 32.9

Water: 48.9 %

Bone Mass: 6.5

Do I feel good!!!!

GREAT ball hockey game last night - we lost, but was I sweating! I've gotten over being sore from playing (the first week was brutal), and now I'm totally pumped when I get off the court!

Tonight, Sean has hockey - so I'm heading to the gym (after dinner) and I'm aiming to spend an hour on the treadmill, all so I can watch Grey's Anatomy! After missing the gym all last week, I'm looking forward to spending some quality time there tonight!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

After that glowing commendation.....

...about going to the gym 3x's per week, I have to say that I didn't make it at all this week. This was a week of appointments, school work, birthday parties (one was my fiance's, which we celebrated on three separate occasions) & really big work commitments (long hours). AHHHHH!!!! I still have ball hockey tonight though. I am quickly realizing that if I can't get to the gym on a Thursday night and it's a busy weekend, then it is tough to get to the gym 3 times in a week - but will continue to try.

BUT.....a huge positive is that I am wearing pants that I haven't worn in over 8 months. I decided to try them on today as I am actually "feeling" thinner (which is a very nice feeling!) and they actually fit - okay, a little snug, but I could close the zipper & button!

I did some internet research and found the following - yes, they have guys doing the exercises in the photos, but I'm familiar with some of them from previous workouts, and look forward to trying them out:
The Chest Weight Lifting Exercises
#1 Incline Dumbbell Presses
#2 Flat Dumbbell Presses
#3 Incline Dumbbell Flys

The Ab Workout
#1 Crunches
#2 Reverse Crunches

The Back Weight Lifting Exercise
#1 One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
#2 Bent-Over Barbell Rows
#3 Pullups (Cable Pull Downs)

Tomorrow night, I am going to start my routine of rotating through the different parts of my body while working out - one night arms, one night legs and one night chest/back/abs. Hello wedding dress!

I am looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow morning to see what I way (bet you don't hear that often.......). In the late summer/fall I was tracking my weight when I got my new fancy scale and I was shocked to look back and see I was weighing in between 168 and 174.2!!! I can't believe during the warmest part of the year, I was walking around at that weight - I definitely want to enjoy this summer wearing tank tops and shorts and not feel uncomfortable, or that I have to cover up.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Creating a Balanced Workout

Becky is doing a fantastic job of making it to the gym 3xs a week and is combining weight training and cardio to see some fantastic results! Becky has never worked with a personal trainer since they can be a little pricey. As a result she has not had the privilege of having a weight training program put together for her. One of the things we have discussed is rounding out Becky's weight training program. When we started Becky was doing some weight training on her arms. From there she added some strength training for her legs. I recommended she add some weight lifting for her legs since the legs are the largest muscle group and therefore she could burn more fat even when resting the more muscle she builds. Now we are looking to round out her training even more so that she creates a balanced musculature for her body. Becky has planned to look into training her chest and back as well. This works out perfectly for her three days at the gym since she can do one day of legs, one day of arms and one day of chest and back. This way she gets a really well rounded full body muscle workout.

One of Becky's chores this week as to search out resources that would help her find exercises for her chest in back. I was hoping to be able to post some resources and links from the web, but I haven't come up with anything that I am really happy with yet. Then I went to my local public library and typed "weight training for women" in their serach engine. The search revealed several books that focus specifically on women's weight training. So this can be an extremely accessible and affordable solution for a lot of women. Go ahead, search it out and choose a book that appeals to you. Most of these books have weight training programs that you can follow for a set number of weeks.

So Beck, how's it going? What resources have you come across to help you round out and balance your weight training regime?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm lovin' the snacks....

Having the snacks around really works! I have a secret "snack" drawer at work that I can go to when I'm craving a snack. Unfortunately, my fiance Sean also knows about the drawer (we work together) and helps himself on a regular basis! Although, it kind of makes me smile and I enjoy seeing him go into the drawer, because at least he's eating healthier snacks as well, instead of a chocolate bar from the vending machine!

I managed to get to the gym twice this week, in addition to my ball hockey game last night (we won!). I'm counting helping Sean's brother move on Sunday as my third workout - as he's in a townhouse condo, with three full flights of stairs to get to the top floor! I went up and down those stairs numerous times (and then some.....).

Still haven't made a smoothie for breakfast in the morning, a goal to strive for this upcoming week. I have been eating something breakfast each day though, whether rye toast or some cereal, minimal effort to get me into the habit of eating breakfast. One day this week, I actually ate my cereal before even showering, as I was wanting it right when I woke up!

As of this morning......
Weight: 165.0
Body Fat: 33.4
Water: 48.6 %
Bone Mass: 6.5

0.1 lb away from a heavenly facial!!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Long weekend, without an extra day in it!

I had a wedding this weekend, which was okay, because there's a preset meal that's usually "pretty" balanced. I did have a 1/2 a piece of chocolate cake for dessert, which is very restrained, - as there was an entire buffet table of desserts to choose from!

My one problem, was the three hour break we had between the ceremony and the reception. We ended up going to the mall (we hadn't bought the gift yet!), which ended up with us walking up & down the mall to pass time and right past the food court, where we shared a fries and drink. I will be working extra hard at the gym tonight to burn off those fries! As french fries & potato chips (okay really any potato-type creation) are my fall-back snack food, I got a great idea from my "coach", to still have the fries but to make them from scratch - oven baked with a little seasoning salt. I will definitely be trying this recipe out.

I also went out last week and bought about $20 (on top of my $300 grocery order last week) of alternative snacks - instead of falling-back to the potato chips. I bought rice cakes, bread sticks (low fat ones), melba toast and a nut/raisin mix. I really enjoyed the flavoured rice cakes to snack on over the weekend.

Tomorrow I'm going to try my first fruit smoothie to get me going in the morning. It's a struggle for me to eat breakfast in the morning, as I used to work out in the field, and would have really early mornings and was too lazy to make breakfast, which has become a habit.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big pat on the back for Becky!!!

After one week of nutrition and lifestyle coaching Becky can take full credit for a 2 pound weight loss. Considering she has 27 weeks to lose 15 pounds I would say she is well on track to reaching her target weight. Join me in a round of applause in congratulating Becky on her first 2 pounds!

Becky has experienced many successes this week. She continues to limit herself to 1 diet coke per day. This seems to be keeping her happy without depriving her of her favourite indulgence. Another success to report is making it to her planned 3xs/week at the gym + the aforementioned sweaty ball hockey. Great physical exercise is surely contributing to her weight loss. She also managed to make the switch to eating dinner before the gym without too much pain. All these things are contributing to Becky's forward progress.

We discussed some of Becky's upcoming challenges this week. Becky mentioned that she anticipated craving potato chips and french fries this week. We planned to have some healthy alternatives on hand so that she could avoid indulging herself in a family size bag of potato chips.

Another challenge that Becky is experiencing is eating a good sized breakfast. Currently she grabs a few raisins or a piece of fruit on the go. Considering breakfast is the most important meal of the day and sets the tempo for the metabolism for the rest of the day I have encouraged Becky to increase her calorie intake at breakfast. Becky has committed to having a fruit smoothie in the mornings as a way of starting to eat more breakfast. Still, Becky is doing a good job at getting something into her system first thing in the mornings and she needs to be credited for that. When I first started encouraging my hubby to eat breakfast he started with a donut and a coffee. I was just happy he was getting into the habit of eating something, anything in the morning. Baby steps. Now he sits down to museli bread and a boiled egg most mornings!

One thing to consider when setting a weight loss goal is how to reward your successes. Don't want to do that with a big old slice of chocolate cake. Becky has decided to reward herself with a facial once her scale shows her that magical number below 165.

I'm looking forward to Becky posting about her fabulous facial! Aren't you?

I got a compliment!

We have a massage therapy program at work, and our massage therapist hasn't seen me since mid-December 2006 and almost immediately after laying down on my stomach, she asked if I'd lost weight! She said she noticed it in my hips and shoulders - woohoo!!

I cheated last night.....

I played ball hockey last night with friends, and boy am I used to softball and golf - which essentially requires no real physical activity. I was huffing and puffing after playing ball hockey for about 5 minutes (and we played for an hour!!). Two girls on the floor at all times and there were only three of us, I was actually sweating! I look forward to playing next week.

Then......we headed to St. Louis Bar & Grill, our sponsor for the team and proceeded to have a beer (then drank half a jug of water), wings and some french fries - all to celebrate our.....loss (by one goal)! Why do this the night before you're going to weigh yourself you may ask (and what I was asking myself as I kept dipping the fries in ketchup and putting them in my mouth)!?!
I really have no answer.

As of this morning......
Weight: 166.6
Body Fat: 33.3
Water: 48.6
% Bone Mass: 6.5

I'm drinking a lot more water, and I still can't get the water # to increase. I feel like I'm floating away sometimes, and I can't imagine how much water would be required to get that number to move.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My stomach is grumbling!

I feel like I'm eating more, but my stomach continues to rumble every couple of hours during the day - then I snack on veggies or a piece of fruit and I'm good for another couple of hours till my meal.

Last night, Sean and I did a "test-trial" of eating first and then going to the gym together. Sean's exact word's were "it wasn't that bad actually", which means he'll join me again in reformatting our exercise time! Otherwise he would have had some lonely dinners left on the table for him, as I made dinner first and then went to the gym by myself!

Waiting two more days to check if I've lost any weight (fingers crossed), and will also report on water % bone mass and body fat - I have one of those fancy scales! I can't believe how much I am craving water. I am limiting myself to one diet coke per day (previously I would sometimes go the entire day and realize I had only had diet coke and no water)!

P.S. I hate that photo - seriously, I'm never wearing horizontal stripes again. For anyone that happens to read this, I don't usually look like that. We started a "wall of fame" at work so new employees could check out the board and match names to faces, and this was a test photo to see how far they had to be from each person to get the same size photos - it shouldn't have made the board, but it's a source of inspiration!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The "BEFORE" picture

I asked Becky if she had a photograph of herself that motivated her towards her goal of losing 15 pounds by her wedding. This was the photo she sent me. So, here is the before. We can't wait to share the after in her beautiful wedding dress on July 27th!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The end is near to the first weekend of actually trying to lose weight for my wedding in July! It's not going to be an easy task, but I definitely have a worthwhile goal this time.

It's really easy to make "weight goals" for upcoming events (i.e., company christmas party, other people's weddings that I'm attending, etc.) and then break them without another thought when I don't reach my "goal weight" and just wear the "fat" dress in the back of the closet. BUT, this time it's my wedding and that is once in a lifetime!

Since our coaching call last week, I've gone to the gym twice and really enjoyed both visits - there is definitely a renewed vigour and interest in working out! Once more this week to reach my goal.

I blew an extra $100 at the grocery store and filled the fridge with fruits (the ones I actually like) and veggies (which I love raw!). I've bought groceries to makes meals, before we go to the gym. I tried eating first and then going to the gym on Friday night and I really enoyed it - that way I wasn't eating at 9 pm at night.

Shower was somewhat of a success, I ate veggies from the veggie tray I bought, and a few other things on the table (small piece of lasagna, egg salad sandwich and a few meatballs) - I didn't have dessert and drank water!

Tomorrow I'll be back to work and on a regular eating schedule, weekends can be tough and I'm glad the first one is done on my journey to looking AMAZING, improving my health and enjoying life with my new husband!

Becky starts nutrition and lifestyle coaching

Becky is a new nutrition and lifestyle client who started working with me to lose 15 pounds before her wedding on July 27, 2006. Becky mentioned other concerns such as high cholesterol, heart burn, and knee problems that we will keep in mind.

Last Thursday we discussed Becky's goals and the challenges she faces in achieving those goals. Becky has decided to combine efforts in the arenas of diet and exercise to lose the extra weight.

Current Weight: 168.6

Weekly Exercise Goal: Hit the gym 3x's this week. Try to round out cardio with a full body weight training program, as Becky was just working out her arms up to this point.

Challenge: Eating dinner before hitting the gym to avoid eating late at night.
Solution: Becky decided to take time over the weekend to meal plan and grocery shop so that she would have good meals ready to go on week nights.

Challenge: Trying to stick to healthy eating when at parties.
Solution: Becky decided to take a raw veggie tray with her to a baby shower that she was attending this weekend. She also decided to eat before she went so that she wouldn't snack on unhealthy food.