Monday, March 28, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Life Challenge Eight

I apologize for the late post on our LAST week! Can you believe that we made it this far?? You have all done so well!
We are on the home stretch now, so for week eight - the last habit, we are going to add a cup of vegetables to at least two of our meals. Just like last week where we were adding fruits this week we are going to add vegetables.
Why are we going to do this?
  • Vegetables contain several nutrients to help prevent disease and help promote a healthy body
  • Eating vegetables is helpful for losing body fat!
Here is an example of a daily meal pattern:
  1. Protein + carb (shake or bar)
  2. Protein + fruit
  3. Protein + fruit
  4. Protein + veggie
  5. Protein + veggie
  6. Protein
Remember not all vegetables are created equal

Starchy vegetables (higher in carbohydrates - count these in your carb count!)
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
Non-starchy vegetables (choose from this list - these are 'free')
  • Cucumbers
  • colored peppers
  • leafy greens
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • carrots (these are high on the glycemic index - down size your serving)
  • radishes
  • tomatoes
  • asparagus
Make it Happen
  1. Stock up on fresh vegetables that you enjoy. Get enough for one week
  2. Variety of colors!
  3. Cut up several servings of vegetables in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This makes it easy to grab a serving quickly, with no preparation
  4. When planning your meals, it might be easiest to 'assign' two meals that you consistently add one cup of vegetables
If you haven't been a vegetable eater - keep this in mind: your tongue will actually crave what you feed it. In the beginning of this week you may feel like are having to force feed yourself the vegetables, but after awhile you will notice that you will crave certain vegetables. Hang in there!
Be sure to send in your points for the last few weeks - Good luck this week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Life Challenge 7

Everyone is having such great results! Okay here is life habit seven - Choose fruit as your carbohydrate for at least two (minimum) of your meals
WHY are we going to do this?
  • Fruit contains several nutrients to help prevent disease and help promote a healthy body.
  • Eating fruit as your carbohydrate (versus starch - anything with flour in it or starchy veggies) can be helpful in losing body fat.
What is our daily pattern going to look like? Here is an example just so we can get our arms around this...
  1. Protein + regular carb (i.e., shake or breakfast bar)
  2. Protein + fruit
  3. Protein + fruit
  4. Protein
  5. Protein
  6. Protein (for those that are having this 6th meal)
Remember: meals are two to three hours apart and TWO fruit servings per meal is the minimum. You can add it to more of your meals if you choose.
Basics of fruit - not all fruits are created EQUAL! Some fruits spike our blood sugar higher and faster than others. And if you remember from other life habits we want to make sure that our blood sugar stays level than spiking all the time. That spike produces insulin which in turn leads to body fat.

Good Choices - its okay to have, these are higher on the glycemic index. Decrease the serving size of these.
  • Bananas (1/2 or 1/3 serving)
  • Grapes
  • Red apples
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
Better Choices - concentrate here
  • All berries
  • Peaches
  • Green apples
  • Grapefruit (not good for those on high blood pressure medication!)
  • Plums
  • Cherries
Always have the fruits with your protein!
Make it HAPPEN
  1. Stock up on fruit, particularly the 'better' fruits
  2. Frozen berries and peaches are an easy way to stay prepared
  3. When you plan your meals pick your protein first, then add a fruit
  4. For your two fruit meals, you won't add another carbohydrate to this meal. This will keep you under the 30 grams of carbohydrate per meal life habit.
Favorite meal idea recipe
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I use the Advocare muscle gain protein powder)
  • 4 oz of water
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Champagne Supernova | Quilt-A-Long

Not really Champagne Supernova but a Supernova Quilt-A-Long... yes, I am not even done with my Single Girl quilt and I am signing up to do another! Will you join me on this one?
For this quilt I am thinking of using either the same collection she used by Denyse Schmidt - Hope Valley or Anna Maria Horner's - Innocent Crush cotton. I have been following Lees' blog for some time now and always enjoy reading about her quilting journey. I am going through many of the trials and tribulations that she experienced a year ago so it's good to know I am not alone. I also enjoy her W.I.P. Wednesday and hope to launch this on my new blog [hint-hint] soon - it will include all sorts of projects, not just quilting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Challenge six

So sorry this post is late! Had a super busy weekend - full of food, music and running. WHEW- we are moving on to week six! You are going to replace all white flour/grains (processed flours with WHOLE GRAINS.
Why are we going to do this?
Processed flour (grains) will sabotage your efforts to burn body fat. Whole grains are filling, contain nutrients, and are higher in fiber. So much better for you!

White flour + Eggs + Sugar = fatty thighs, hips and stomach

Be careful this week with labels - it can get very tricky, what we think is 'whole grain' may very well not be or have other ingredients that we are trying to stay away from. For example a bran muffin... has white flour, eggs and sugar. For many of us we are thinking how bad can a bran muffin be?? It's brown and brown is good for you, right? Here's the truth - we want to be successful, we want to get rid of body fat that we don't like, clean out our arteries and BE HEALTHY!

Be a LABEL LOOKER - check labels for 'unbleached' and 'bleached flour'. See the above label for Wheat Thins (I love these crackers!) they look and sound pretty good right? "Wheat Thins crackers harvest five-grain". But look a the ingredient list...the first few ingredients are the unbleached and bleached flour. Also take a look farther down - malt syrup. This adds to the taste but also gives the cracker the nice brown color.

Look for whole grains this week - 100%! There are a lot of products out there that taste so good we are not going to have to sacrifice taste. Here are some more labels to review and a few good products to look for

Stoned Wheat Thins - Again like the Wheat Thins, these 'look' okay but when you read the ingredient list there are two things that stand out Enriched Flour and Partially Hydrogenated oils. This is NOT something that we would want to choose.

Ezekiel 4:9 bread - This would be a great choice and you can find this bread in the health food store or health food section in the cold storage.

Brown Rice Spaghetti noodles - good choice! I have slowly switched all of our pastas over to brown rice or whole wheat.

Honey Whole Wheat bread mix - Sounds good right? Remember to always read the labels and my rule of thumb - the shorter the list and if I can pronounce everything on it, most likely it's going to be a good choice!

Make it Happen
  1. Start by throwing out all processed flour products (muffins, crackers, bread, white pasta, chips, tortillas, white rice)
  2. Choose whole grains, preferably those foods made from brown rice and whole oats.
  3. Corn products made without additional processed flours are okay (i.e., corn tortillas)
  4. READ labels!
  5. Skip any bread and croutons served at a restaurant...even if it's 'brown', this doesn't mean it is whole wheat. Molasses is used to create color. Wheat sprinkled into white flour isn't a whole grain.
  6. Remember, starches are fuel, and aren't the only carbohydrate source. Fruit is a great option for your carbohydrate sources.
GLUTEN - There are many of us that are gluten intolerant and don't even know it! Seven out of ten people are adversely affected by gluten. If you want to find out if you are sensitive to wheat and other sources of gluten TAKE IT OUT and choose only rice and oats (and gluten free products) and re-introduce wheat gluten after 4 to 6 weeks. Watch for the return of symptoms. There is a difference between gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Here are some symptoms of gluten intolerance:
  • raccoon eyes - the dark circles around the eye area
  • fatigue - trouble concentrating
  • water weight gain
  • stomach pooch - bloating
  • active stomach - gurgling, cramping, etc
  • runny nose
Remember that gluten is in most sauces! For those of you that are on the Advocare shakes and bars - they are gluten free.

Be sure to get in your week 4 & 5 points to me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Portlandia kind of week

Gearing up for a busy latter half of the week! Portlandia type of events - comibned with early morning [3AM PST] UK promo launches at work is going to be sporting at best.
First up, today is the Drive by Truckers concert. This is Kirk's band of the moment right now and we are going to make it an afternoon and evening event.They are doing a pre-show concert at Music Millenium and then their sold out concert is at the Wonder Ballroom.Which also means dinner at Russell Street BBQ!

 Friday evening is also includes music - Iris Dement @ the Aladdin Theater. If you have seen the movie True Grit you might recognize her song Leaning On the Everlasting Arms. Excited to go with friends and have dinner at Foster Burger

 Saturday is the 21st annuall Buckman Art Show with good friends and followed by an early dinner at Screen Door

 Then Sunday - after all the good eats and drinks [won't be earning any challenge points the next few days!] I will be running [but mostly walking] the 5K Shamrock Run! I am hoping that my new Shamrock socks will keep me motivated.
 The rainy weather, music scene, art scene and exercise you couldn't ask for more 'Portlandia' .... if you live in the area or visiting be sure to check out some of these places!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Omega 3 ideas

Okay, here a quick run down of some of the foods you should try to eat regularly to boost your omega-3 intake:
  • Fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, lake trout
  • Oils such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil and walnut oil
  • Nuts such as walnuts
  • Soy nuts
  • Seeds such as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Beans such as kidney beans, soybeans and navy beans
  • Tofu
  • Eggs from chickens fed flax and greens
  • Summer and winter squash
  • Leafy greens and coniferous vegetables
I find it difficult to get the needed Omega allowance so I take straight Omega 3 fish oil. I am going to disclose to you what I take.... I don't recommend this to anyone without consulting your doctor! But I take a teaspoon of fish oil with a small glass of orange juice - the size of a shot glass. Not something that you want to enjoy, you just want to get it down. I also put it in my smoothie!
The fish oil that I take is marketed for horses. Yes, I wrote HORSES. They make a human form but it's more expensive than the one they have packaged for horses. A friend of mine turned me on to this - she raises horses and has been taking her Omega 3 oil like this for years! The company is called Wellpride and you can check them out here. One of the reasons I take the actual oil is because the pill form made my stomach really upset, I am not sure why but with the oil I am fine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Single Girl Quilt | Craziness part 2

I am still working on this and haven't given up yet... everything is so new to me I am feeling encouraged to keep on going! I have learned so much - here are few tips:
  • Definitely invest in the rotating cutting mat - I bought mine at JoAnn's when they have their Olfa sale. I have been happy with the 12 inch size.
  • Small rotary cutter - 28mm
  • Clover white fine tip marking pen
  • Temporary basting glue - or any water soluable glue like elmers. You just need a needle point bottle. I bought this with plans to fill it with Elmers when it's empty. 
I have put together my pieces - by chain piecing...

You need to pay attention to this task and always have a good seam ripper...

Traced my background template onto the pink background fabric...

Cut the background pieces with a straight edge & rotary cutter and hand scissors for the curves...

Then instead of pinning the curves I glue basted them - HUGE time saver! you just need a tiny tiny tiny bit. I learned this at the last quilt guild meeting from Rachel. It doesn't take any time for it to dry since it's such a small amount and it doesn't gum up your machine. It also washes out when you wash the quilt.

 Sew and press...

 The gals that are hosting this support group have great tutorials:
Ready to join in yet??

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Life Challenge Five

So excited to share week FIVE with you today! We are going to be adding Omega-3 fats to our diet. Yes, I said FAT... of course there is always a catch right?
Why are we going to eat fats?
Omega-3 fats are essential for an overwhelming number of physical processes - there are way too many to list. One of them does include weight management. Very important for shedding body fat you need to make sure you are getting good healthy fats.
How much Omega-3 fats do I add?
  • 1,000 mg per day minimum
Before we go into too many details I think we should review dietary fats 101. Just to make sure we are all understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats.
  • Saturated fats - we don't want these in our diets in high quantities
    • The higher the saturated fats in our diet the higher the risk for cardiovascular disease
    • This is the type of fat that comes from animals - cheese, milk, butter, beef
    • We are going to decrease your intake of saturated fats - is it okay to have cheese and milk once a week. And not a problem to have beef once a week. It is not recommended to have these fats on a daily basis. You are not going to lose a point for doing that, but for overall good health and results I would keep it to a minimum.
  • Trans fats - these are processed, fats that have been manipulated through chemical processes
    • Includes hydrogenated shortening - this is in A LOT of packaged processed foods
    • We are not going to have any TRANS-FATS
  • Healthy fats - vegetables and fist
    • Omega 6 & 3 fats
    • We are going to concentrate on increasing these good fats
What are Omega 6 & 3 fats?
Omega 6 - high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable sources and are essential for health.
  • Olive oil
  • Advocados
Omega 3 - high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in fatty  cold water fish
  • Salmon
  • Albacore
  • Halibut
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts
As a society in the last couple of years, we have been educated very well on saturated fats and how we want to decrease our intake of these. Naturally we have gravitated towards Omega 6 fats - like using olive oil in our foods. However we are still very low as a society on Omega 3, we are not eating enough fish or flaxseed oil - so that is what we are going to concentrate on for the rest of the challenge (and your lifetime!)

When the body is in short supply of these essential acids, a myriad of problems can arise including fatigue, immune weakness, gastrointestinal disorders, heart and circulatory problems, reduced growth rate and more. I am anxious to hear from any of you that suffer from any of the auto-immune diseases such as Lupus or Fibromyalgia. Because it has been documented that those that suffer from these have a large deficiency in Omegas.

So one thing that I want to point out to you is the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. This is important! In our bodies our health is optimized by a 1:1 ratio or 2:1 ratio. Meaning we need equal amounts of Omega 6 to Omega 3  - this is optimal. However let's take a look at some numbers from Japan

As a society Japan tends to be really healthy. They do not have the issues of obesity, nor the diabetes problems that the US has. As you can see the US has an unbalanced ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 and we really need to balance this out by adding Omega 3.

So what do we need to do? ADD OMEGA 3 FATS!
Choose from the following Omega 3 healthy fats for your POINT (min of 1000mg)
  • Walnuts - 1/4 cup
  • Flaxseed oil (1 TBSP) this is a good choice for those of you that do not like fish! Needs to be refrigerated. I buy mine at Trader Joes
  • Flaxseeds ground (2 TBSP on your oatmeal or in your cereal)
  • Fatty fist (4 oz)
    • salmon, halibut, herring, albacore
  • Egg yolks with Omega 3 (2) these come in a package, just be sure it contains Omega 3
  • Supplements - easy way! (1000mg - Advocare has OmegaPlex)
Trans fats - just want to review again to make sure we all know what they are when you are reading labels. You do NOT earn any points for eating Trans fats!
  • Fried foods
  • Hydrogenated fats
    • processed foods like crackers, processed peanut butter (solid at room temp), coffee creamers
  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • Pastries, muffins, cakes, pies
  • processed cheese
  • most chips

The above label is an example of looking for those bad fats. Just because it doesn't have color or frosting on it doesn't mean that it's good for you! :)

And just a reminder - we are going to limit the amount of saturated fats.

Make it happen
  1. Start by throwing out foods that contain trans-fats that are in your home right now. Go through the cabinets, refrigerator, freezer, pantry and any other place you keep food. Donate to your local food bank!
  2. Grocery shop for the a few different Omega 3 fat sources of your choice
  3. If you take Omega supplements, you can count your pills as your Omega 3 serving.
  4. Suggestions for getting your Omega-3 fats:
    1. add flaxseed oil to your shake or add ground flaxseed
    2. use flaxseed oil on your salads and cooked vegetables
    3. add walnuts to your salads or eat a handful as part of a meal
    4. salmon filets are available at most grocery stores

I am hoping that through this challenge we are all learning some really good life habits. Even though we are not implementing them at 100% we know what we should be doing and there is a goal in sight. I believe as adults we owe this to the younger generation - to be aware of how to take care of ourselves. We are the examples - it breaks my heart when I see young kids battling Type 2 diabetes! If we don't start changing our eating habits and becoming 'label lookers' our children are going to pay a huge price.

Here is an analogy that I would like to share with you... it's like your body is a house, you keep it well maintained on the outside. You have wonderful trees, plant beautiful flowers every year, groomed lawn, etc. Everybody that walks by thinks it looks fabulous! But you never clean the inside - the toilets are dirty, there are dirty dishes everywhere, litter box isn't cleaned out, etc. You are going to eventually have some kind of health risk right? Viruses, ecoli, bad bacteria, and ultimately some serious problems. We have to take care of our insides as well as the outside for good overall health!

This week is going to be a great new week - be sure to get your week four points into me. I am going to post the stats up to week three once I hear from some of you.

Please share some meal ideas that you are having - especially if you are eating out. Enjoy life!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Single Girl Quilt | Craziness

Lots and lots of pieces, curved piecing and queen size - yes, I am crazy to take on the quilt along Single Girl Quilt by Denyse Schmidt.

I have decided to put this one together for my niece - a single girl. Hopefully she will have this quilt until she gets married and can pass it on. It was pretty easy to come up with the color scheme - PINK.

Right now I am just cutting out the many, many pieces. The smaller rotary blade and the rotating cutting mat is making life WAY easier. I am behind the quilt along but hope to catch up - you can see the schedule here. Stay tuned!