Monday, July 23, 2012

Motivational Monday--Week Four

I spaced it and forgot to post pictures of my basket on Saturday. (I did get one this week.) I had company staying at my house and I guess I was a little preoccupied. I have some exciting plans though. I definitely want to make my 100 calorie oatmeal plum muffins. I love them, and it's been a while since I've had any. I have plans to try some other muffins too. Anyway, here are this week's quotes. Hope you like them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

The last few months of my weight loss journey have been pretty difficult. In February I was down to 50 lbs lost, but with my surgery I gained about 5 lbs back. What I find interesting (and a little disturbing), is that 45 lbs seemed wonderful when I got down to that point, but going back up to it is awful.

Recently, my husband and I went to a new park so he could practice taking pictures of me (he's an amateur photographer) and find all the good spots for a photo shoot he had the next day. I was not very excited about getting my picture taken. In my mind, that extra 5 lbs looked like the entire 50. . .but I needed some photos done anyway for a project I'm working on, so I went along with it. After we got home, I looked at the photos and realized something. I look a lot better than what I see when I look in the mirror.

How often do we not see things as they really are? Everyone does it--especially women. We look in the mirror and immediately begin searching for something to pick at.  I once heard someone say that you should stand in front of your mirror every morning, look yourself in the eye, and tell yourself how beautiful you are. Find something you like about yourself instead of something you wish would improve. Yes, we need to take care of or physical health, but we also need to care for our emotional health. The thinnest, most gorgeous supermodel in the world could improve her looks with a smile. So can you.

So. . . what do you see when you look in the mirror? The truth. . .or something else?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mango Lime Salad Dressing

This recipe was originally going to be more complicated. I wanted to add spices and oil, but none of the spices I had went with the flavor of the dressing, & it was already thick enough without the oil. I'm okay with simple recipes, though.

Mango Lime Salad Dressing

1 Mango
2 Limes
3 T water*

Blend mango and limes. Add water.
*You may use more or less, according to how thick you want the dressing to be.

This dressing would go well with spinach or a mild lettuce (like butter lettuce). 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Motivational Monday--Week Three

Here are some more of the quotes I found a few weeks ago. I had fun playing around with fonts and making them into pictures so you can pin any you really like (if you're into organizing on pinterest).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Strawberry Limeade Slush

On Bountiful Baskets' Facebook page last week I saw someone mention limeade. I love limeade, but I've only ever had it at Tucanos. They have a ton of different flavors. So I thought, "Hey, why not make strawberry limeade?" And it turned out pretty good!

Strawberry Limeade Slush

Juice of 2 Limes
7 Medium to Large Strawberries
1 Sweetener Packet*
1 C Water
1 C Ice

Put all ingredients in blender and blend on high until the ice is crushed to your desired consistency.

*Note: I like my limeade a little on the sour side. Just add more sweetener if the recipe isn't sweet enough for you as it is. You can also use sugar. I just had some sweetener packets lying around.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Your Body Runs Like a Car. . .

*It took a really long time for me to figure this out, so I hope this post helps you.

When it comes to losing weight, "One-size-doesn't-fit-all". Everyone's always rushing to try out the newest fad, but most people don't get the great results that the different companies advertise.  Why? Because everyone's body is different.

I use the produce in my basket to help me lose weight, but I also count calories, because eating too much healthy food can make you gain weight too. (It's just harder to eat too much of it because it has a lower calorie density.) Most people think that we burn 2000 calories a day, and that to lose weight, you should eat 1200. The problem is, the RDA of 2000 calories a day is an average. Some people will lose weight eating that much. Others will gain. And for some, dropping their intake to 1200 cal/day will starve their bodies.

I was getting ready the other day, and suddenly it hit me how similar our bodies are to the vehicles we drive. How are they similar?  

1- Cars need fuel to drive. Without gas, the car won't start. You use up more gas when you're driving your car a lot, but it's using gas even when it's idling.

Food is the fuel for our bodies. If we don't eat, our bodies will stop working. People who exercise a lot or have a lifestyle that requires heavy exertion need to eat more. The difference between our bodies and our vehicles is that our bodies are always "idling". It takes energy for our heart to beat, our brain to think, and our other organs to function.  We only stop burning calories when we die.

2-Smaller cars get better gas mileage.  That means they can go farther using the same amount of gas as a bigger car.

Lighter people burn less calories. It's difficult for our bodies to carry around the extra weight, so they have to work harder. That means you have to be adjusting what you eat as you lose weight, or your progress will stall.

So how do you figure out the amount of "fuel" your body needs?

First: Figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  Your BMR is the number of calories you burn "idling". If you were completely sick and couldn't even get out of bed, this is the number of calories your body would need to keep itself alive. There's a complicated math equation to find your BMR, but I'd rather use this BMR calculator. (It usually shocks people to learn how many calories they burn doing nothing.)

Once you know your BMR, you can find out approximately how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. Simply multiply BMR by one of these numbers, depending on how active your lifestyle is.

If you are sedentary (no exercise, sit around a lot), multiply BMR X 1.2
If you are lightly active and get some exercise, multiply BMR X 1.375
If you are moderately active, multiply BMR X 1.55
Very Active/Heavy Exercise, multiply BMR X1.725
Professional Athlete, multiply BMR by 1.9

I'll share my stats with you to make it less confusing. I'm 5'11", and when I started losing weight almost a year ago, I weighed 132 lbs. That means my BMR was 1872.4. I started exercising several days a week (moderately active = multiply 1872.4 x 1.55), which means I was burning about 2900 calories a day. If I ate more than that, I would gain weight. If I ate less, I would lose it.

To lose weight, we just have to eat less than we burn. If we our body doesn't have enough fuel, it burns fat instead (Think of fat as our "reserve gas tank"). The general rule for a safe rate of weight loss is to eat 500-1000 calories less than you burn. So if I was burning 2900 calories/day, I could eat between 1900 and 2400 calories and lose 1-2 lbs/week. If I dropped below 1900 calories, there would be such a huge difference between what I eat and what I burn, that my body would think I was starving and start slowing itself down.  If my body slows down, I burn less calories, and lose less fat. This is what people refer to as "starvation mode".

One thing to note is that even this equation doesn't take everything into account. You can speed up or slow down your BMR based on your lifestyle (Your BMR is basically your metabolism). This page will give you some ideas of things you can do to speed it up in a healthy way.

What it comes down to is listening to your body. Trust me, it will tell you what it needs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mango Nectarine Sorbet

Some of my fruit was getting overripe, so I decided to make another sorbet (this one is a lot sweeter than the cherry sorbet). Blend two nectarines and one mango. Put the puree in an ice cream maker for about 10 minutes. The flavors go really well together! It makes 2-3 servings. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal

Since I volunteered at my pick-up site on Saturday, I was able to get another container of strawberries as my extra. I love strawberries! This morning I used some of them to make Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal. It was delicious! Plus, the way I make oatmeal makes it expand until it's a huge bowl so it fills you up more.  Here's what I did:

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

1/2 C Oats
2 C Water
About half a container of Strawberries (160 g)
2 T liquid coffee creamer (I used Vanilla Caramel flavor)

1- Bring Oats, Water, and 1/3 of the Strawberries to a boil in a sauce pan, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Because there is more liquid in this recipe than oatmeal usually calls for, it will take longer to cook.

2- When the oatmeal is finished cooking, transfer it to a bowl. Add 1/3 of the strawberries. Using a stick blender, combine the strawberries and oatmeal so they are a uniform consistency. (The extra water also gives the oatmeal a gummy consistency, and blending gets rid of that.)

3- Cut up the last 1/3 of your strawberries and place them on top of your oatmeal.

4-Pour the liquid coffee creamer over the top of the strawberries.


I ate this after I came home from the gym this morning, and it was delicious. The only thing that could make it better is less sugar. (Maybe half the creamer.)  I've posted the nutrition facts below, thanks to Calorie Count's Recipe Analyzer. I love this tool because you can look up the calorie count for any recipe you make, and it even gives the recipe a nutrition grade.  This one got an A-.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 398 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 157%
Calcium 4%Iron 14%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

Monday, July 9, 2012

Motivational Monday--Week Two

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lao-tzu

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!" -Henry Ford

"The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers." -Brian Tracy

"If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner." -H.S. Leigh

"For 24 years of my adult life, by choice I weighed well over 200 lbs. I say be choice because you see I have never accidentally eaten anything." -Zig Ziglar

"If you don't dare to begin, you don't stand a chance of getting there." -Unknown

"I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come."  -Michael Jordan

"You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there." -Unknown

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I. . .I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."- Robert Frost

"Never, never, never, never give up." 
-Winston Churchill

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What's in the baskets this week?

This is a great basket week--I got a ton of stuff! Here's the list:

1 Head of Lettuce
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Bag of Green Beans
2 Zucchini Squash
6 Tomatoes
8 Limes
10 Plums
5 Nectarines
2 Mangoes
2 Bags of Grapes
2 Packages of Strawberries

Not bad for $16.50!!!  (I should mention that I volunteered this morning, so I got extra strawberries.) There are a lot of good "smoothie fruits" in the bunch. Bananas are conspicuously absent, but then I still have some from two weeks ago that aren't ripe yet--but they will be soon! And boy, do I have plans for them. . .

I had to chuckle when I saw the cauliflower this morning. Once upon a time I didn't like cauliflower very much. Then I found ways to prepare it that I did like. Now my only problem is deciding which way I want to make it this week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

No-Bake Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Last week I came across this recipe for "Cake Batter Energy Bars" from Chocolate Covered Katie. I didn't have all of the ingredients called for, so I tweaked it a bit. (And of course I added some fruit, because what would a blog about Bountiful Baskets be if the recipes didn't have any produce in them?)  

These Blueberry Oatmeal Bars have about 150 calories each, and would be great for breakfast, or as a natural, homemade energy bar (I'm probably going to take some with me when my husband and I go hiking.)

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1 1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
1 C Corn Chex
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp Honey
1/4 to 1/2 C Blueberries

1- Put Oats, Chex, and salt in the food processor, and process until the mixture reaches the consistency of flour.

2- Put Coconut Butter and Honey in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds. (Just long enough for them to liquify.) 

3- Add the blueberries to the Coconut Butter/Honey mixture and mash with a fork.

4- Combine wet and dry ingredients. (The mixture should be slightly crumbly, but hold together well.)

5- Line a pan with waxed paper. (My pan is a weird size, but it holds the same amount as an 8 x 8 square pan.)

6- Drop the mixture onto the waxed paper, and use another piece of waxed paper to push down until the bars are packed into the pan.

7- Place bars in the freezer to harden (It should take about an hour.) 

Cut and Enjoy! (Makes 9 bars.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Motivational Monday--Week One

Sometimes it's easy to lose my motivation.  When that happens, it's great to have some kind of mantra to help me remember why I've chosen to live healthier. (I know people who have sticky notes or 3 x 5 cards with motivational quotes plastered all around their house. Then every time they brush their teeth or open the fridge, they see one.) There are a ton of great quotes floating around on the internet, and I decided I wanted to share the ones I like. I started collecting them, and before I knew it I had way too many for just one post... so I'm going to post 10 of them every Monday in July and call it "Motivational Monday". If you have any others, feel free to comment!

 *Update 3/18/2014  I decided to update this post so the quotes can be pinned like week three and four. (Seeing how many people were repinning those quotes is one of the things that helped motivate me to try again after having my baby. I figured if the quotes helped me, they could help someone else, too.)