Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

2.14.2014

"Spray It Forward" with Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer

This sponsored post was written while participating in my partnership with Vaseline and One2One Network.

I have long suffered from dry skin...and really have done nothing about it.
But I am getting older and I must take action!.
It seems simple enough, right?
You have dry skin you use lotions.
No biggie, right?
Well, I am always in a hurry...always rushed...
due to my time management issues.
So when I saw the Vaseline Spray &Go Moisturizer commercial with the lady
who sprays her self down and gets dressed in like "2 seconds,"
I thought "Hey! This is made for me!"

Vaseline Spray and Go #sprayitforward

6.05.2013

Show Me Your Floss Face!

A smile speaks volumes.
Maintaining a healthy smile and mouth takes work,
that is why when I was asked to participate in the
I said "Heck Yeah!"
(I received monetary compensation and product...
but all these amazing stories and opinions are my own!)
This house has many different Floss Faces!
First there is the Toothless Floss Face!
While she may not have those front teeth...I am desperately trying to instill good oral hygiene practices with her...reminding her that her "Big Girl" teeth need to stay healthy and shiny (and sparkly - because all little girls respond to sparkly)

5.28.2013

Have You Ever Tried a Detox? I did!

I am continually looking for ways to improve and sustain my health.
I also truly believe that food has amazing healing powers.
I have experienced major changes in my mind, body, and outlook once before
(a long time ago) when I was (almost) a vegan.
It was the best I ever felt and looked...ever
(and it was not just because I was younger).

I have struggled to get back even a piece of that feeling for years
(if you dare, you can read about my struggles with weight loss...and gain).
I could blame pregnancy or being a busy mom....
but other moms seem to overcome these obstacles.
I can truly only find fault and take responsibility myself.

10.27.2011

Mingle (and Bake) with Melt! Banacarapple Bread

I always feel like putting on a fancy apron and spending my days baking at this time of year. I think of rich deep Fall flavors - pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gingerbread, cinnamon, pecans - yum! This is the time of year I love to make all kinds of breads, pies, soups, and sauces and just enjoy the richness of it all (and workout!).
In the past I have tried working with new healthier ingredients such as brown rice syrup, buckwheat flour, and coconut oil. I still continue to try and find healthier alternatives to create new dishes and baked goodies with.

Recently I was introduced to Melt Buttery Spread,
a organic gluten-free butter substitute. It has become the perfect compliment to the dishes I have been making - not to mention a new component to my baking and cooking. Oh how I love the added benefit Melt brings to the table by incorporating healthy cooking oils into my dishes.

Since receiving some samples, I have fallen in love with Melt (not to mention the song 'I'll Stop the World and Melt With You" - one of my faves from my younger days - plays in my head every time I see it). It has a whipped creamy buttery yumminess, but it is better for you, made with virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil, palm fruit oil and canola oil. It is a healthy gluten-free butter and supports digestive wellness, optimal nutrition absorption and healthy weight.

I have been using it a lot - on toast, muffins, to saute veggies, and on my steamed broccoli, pretty much anywhere I would normally use butter,
I have tried Melt with great success.

I have a recipe for you using Melt (in just a minute)
...but want to tell you about the
that is going on right now...through through October 31, 2011!
And seriously it takes a minute or two to enter
(enter your name, your email, and my blog name)...
and the prize is awesome...
$500 VISA gift card towards your Mingle With Melt 
dinner party from Rich & Creamy Melt® Buttery Spread! Enter to win a chic, foodie evening-in with friends from Rich & Creamy Melt®, the great tasting, organic butter alternative that’s good for you. 

One winner (and the blog that referred them) will enjoy a $500 Mingle with Melt VISA giftcard with which to buy food, decorations, cocktails, cooking supplies, and maybe, the perfect little black dress, for your dinner party! Mingle with Melt! We'll also provide 3 packages of Melt and feature each winner's party photos and original recipes featuring Melt on the Melt Facebook page and website!
(all the sweepstakes details/rules on are the entry page)

Now here's the recipe!
This is a rich full bodied bread.
It has a sweetness to it but it is not too "sweet."
You can really taste the molasses and the fruits/veggies!
My kids "eat it up!"
Banacarapple Bread
(banana-carrot-apple)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Melt, melted
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of agave (or honey)
  • 3-4 (depending on their size) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of brown rice flour (For this recipe, that is what I had, but in the past I have used a combination of healthier flours, like 1 cup Buckwheat Flour and 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour - I can find both of these at my regular grocery store or whole foods)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot (I just grated 4 carrots in the food processor)
  • 1 apple, cored and either diced or grated (I got lazy and after coring threw it in the food processor).
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Other optional flavors: Raisins, cranberries, ginger

MAKE IT!
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Use some melted Melt to butter the pan and then dust the pan with the flour.
  3. Mix the Melt, molasses, agave/honey, (room temp.) eggs, and mashed bananas together.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together
  5. Add dry to the wet in small batches
  6. Fold in the carrot
  7. Fold in the apple
  8. Bake for approximately 55-60 minutes
Voila...super yummy, totally healthy, kid-tested Banacarapple Bread!
And top it with a spread of Melt...super delicious!

Do you think your kids would eat bread with carrots in it?
Next time I want to add some zucchini!

Don't forget...don't miss out on your chance to win a
$500 giftcard in the Mingle with Melt Sweepstakes!
Signature
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received samples of Melt Buttery Spread.

1.04.2011

Cinch! Review and Cinch! Giveaway - CLOSED!

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches by Cynthia Sass (I LOVE her last name). She is also the  coauthor of The Flat Belly Diet and a registered dietitian. I did a little poking around and liked what I saw and agreed to review Cinch!

In the past I have struggled with my weight...in fact on Monday I pulled a long, lost post out of the archives to tell you my weighty story. The one thing I strive to be is honest and real here and I feel like you should know where I am coming from...I have tried many plans and menus that are considered to be healthy. I am open to new ideas, but I firmly believe in eating real food and conquering with my mind, body, spirit - not a quick fix.

On to Cinch!
When I first opened the book and started reading, two things jumped out at me. Early in the book there is a section entitled "What's Different - Cinch!"
The first two points (and I am paraphrasing) are:
#1 - An emphasis on portion control and balance instead of counting calories. YES - Score #1 for me - as soon as you tell me to count calories I feel deprived...my successes in the past have all been based on not counting calories.
#2 - A strong emphasis on whole foods and local and organic foods. YES - Score #2 for me - this is huge in my belief system on food. I am striving to do away with processed food in our house, and have switched over the pantry to include whole and organic foods (an occasional junky-something makes it in there however).

Cynthia's approach, as also descried in the book is one of a "whole person perspective" - physical, emotional, social, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental. Because of these and many other statements in the book, I was getting excited and completely on board with trying this plan. 

So, I made the decision...I am doing it. I am doing the 5-Day Fast Forward to jump start my results (I am an instant gratification type of person...results keep me going). You do not have to begin with the 5-Day Fast Forward...the meals are the same for the 5 days and the food choices are limited to 5...but it is only 5 days...and I happen to like all the food choices.

For the first five days, you eat combinations/meals of these 5 foods:
  • Spinach (fresh of frozen)
  • Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Almonds
  • Organic Eggs
  • Nonfat plain yogurt (I am using Greek yogurt...YUM!)
  • (You can substitute tofu)
There is no soda (even diet) and only one cup of coffee - that is hard for me (I rely on my mochas way too much!). I have actually cut back on the coffee by not purchasing my special Coffee Bean No-Sugar Added Mocha Powder - it is just not as good without it, so that makes it easier to not drink it. Tea, water, flavored calorie-free seltzer water, and flavored calorie-free flat water are all OK.
Cynthia is lucky enough to have a cool last name - SASS - that also translates into Slimming and Satiating Seasonings, which include citrus juice or zest, vinegar, hot peppers, tea, and herbs and spices you use to dress up your meals. In our house we use these on a regular basis anyway! Another huge SCORE!

So, I am starting my 2nd day of the 5 Day Fast Forward tomorrow...I have practiced for a few days...I simply decided that to start while the kids and hubby were all on vacation and we were all over the place was not ideal.

The menu for the remaining 25 days - the Cinch! Core - is much more diversified and sounds fabulous. It also include vegetarian and vegan options - HUGE points there!
Some of the recipes include:
  • Open-Faced Pesto Egg Sandwich
  • Strawberry Vanilla Hazelnut "Ice Cream"
  • California Sunshine Salad
  • Spinach Walnut Feta Pizza
  • Chilled Herbed Chicken Pasta Salad
So, as you can see the variety of meals is immense...it is only if you do the 5-Day Fast Forward that you are limited (for only 5 days)...after that it is all about eating like clockwork and eating from the 5 pieces of the puzzle:
  • Produce
  • Whole grain
  • Lean protein
  • Plant based fat
  • Seasonings - SASS)
My family will easily enjoy many of the meals, and I will feel good preparing and serving them as they are wholesome healthy meals. There is even a 5-piece puzzle cheat sheet to assist you with planning the meals.

Additionally...you get to enjoy some chocolate with Cinch! Yes, you heard me...find some time and some dark chocolate and enjoy it, really enjoy it.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that while I know a decent amount about nutrition, Cynthia covers a lot of information about nutrition and also touches on emotional eating and how food issues begin when we are young (yes, I have given my kiddos a lollipop to sit in the shopping cart...I am guilty). I enjoyed these sections very much, because I do believe this is where the root of my issues lie and I am trying to not pass that on to my kiddos.

In my opinion, Cinch! it is a sensible, healthy, approach to getting on track and conquering the scale. It is definitely a book I would pick up at the book store. It is a plan that works or appears (cannot tell you for sure until I am done!) that it would work for me and my family (I just cannot prepare multiple meals at dinner time).

As I go about this plan, I am hopeful...I am ready to conquer this little demon of mine. This plan gives me flexibility while providing quality guidelines...I can live with that! I'll keep you posted!

UPDATE: I think I left this out and feel it needs mentioning....I know the only way to get and maintain the results I desire are through a lifestyle and attitude change. So, I am incorporating the good habits into my life and workign on staying on track.

Now...how would you like to win your own copy on Cinch!?
There are multiple ways to enter...You must leave a comment for each entry. If your email is not visible in your profile or linked to your profile, you must leave it so I can contact you. Giveaway ends 1/11/10 at 12:00 am PST. Winner will be announced on this blog.
1. Mandatory---Be a follower of 504 Main via Google Friend Connect.
2. Like 504 Main on FaceBook.
3. Like Cinch! on Facebook.
4. Follow 504Main on Twitter and Tweet the giveaway. "Win a copy of Cynthia Sass's Cinch! @504Main." Leave url in comment.
5. Post on your Facebook wall.

Here is a little taste of Cinch! from The Early Show.
One2One Badges
Disclaimer: I was provided with a proof copy of Cinch for review. The opinions here are my own.

COMMENTS OFF----GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

1.02.2011

Weighty Issues and an Upcoming Book Review of Cinch!

Now that visions of pumpkin pies and sugar cookies are hopefully
no longer dancing in our heads or on our plates,
it is time to get back on track...
at least for me and many of those I know. 
*************************
I have not really made it a secret here that I have struggles with some extra pounds...not a lot but just enough to be annoyingly stubborn. I first ran a very similar post about one year ago. I have updated it a little, but mainly I am sharing it because, well, one it is something that is always on my mind (unfortunately) and I have not yet conquered it (which I will).
Also, recently I was asked to review a book...
To me, it is important t know where I come from in my review and why I was willing to do the review. So, that is why I have decided to share portions of this past post again.
My review of Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches
 will be up on Tuesday Evening. In the meantime, you can catch the author on The Early Show on CBS on 1/3/11 and on The Rachael Ray Show on 1/5/11.
*******************************
NOW....Weighty Issues
WARNING...This Post is LONG!
When I first wrote this, I struggled with how to approach this. I try to keep my content light and happy or entertaining (I hope!) and not go too personal, but every time I sat down, this post got personal. I used every excuse I could think of, including “I don’t have any pretty pictures to include.” Yes, I know L-A-M-E! Again...this post is long...you have been warned.

PROLOGUE:
Have you seen the Slimquick commercials? You know the ones where the husband quits drinking soda and drops 10 lbs....that is my house. My hubby who considered potatoes to be his vegetable source, started eating salads and dropped white flour from his diet and lost a ton of weight without exercising in a matter of months. I however workout everyday, eat lots of veggies and NADA! Complete frustration. I began talking to my friend Renee, a Holistic Health and NLP Practitioner, AADP, about what the heck to do.

PART I
Here is the back story…I have a love/hate relationship with food and it is probably safe to say a mild addiction to sugar. In my very early 20’s I would exercise and then justify eating ½ gallon of Thrifty Mint Chip ice cream. Then I met a much older man (who I thought was also much wiser) and we dated. He suggested I eat healthier…duh (for now we shall leave alone the idea that he just wanted to date a really hot 20-something chick)! Additionally, I was moving out on my own at the time and had no idea how to cook. So the timing was perfect, he suggested a book and a way of eating that I loved and embraced for 4 years – no dairy, no meat, no oil, no sugar, no salt – Vegetarian+. I looked H-O-T and felt great. Eventually we broke up, I started dating future-hubby (who never met a meat or potato he didn’t like) and I fell off the wagon…just a little.

Fast forward…I battled with 5-10 pounds after this. Good or bad, I am tall, 5’11”, and can hide the extra pounds so that it doesn’t seem like so much. Then I got pregnant. And I ate and ate…chocolate chip pancakes…more mint chip ice cream…and pickled green beans (yum). I gained a staggering amount of weight. I was really appalled and surprised – I just didn’t think for a second it was that bad…until it was that bad. Over the course of the next few years I yo-yo’ed with my weight.

I have been to Weight Watchers, I have seen a nutritionist, I have the South Beach Diet book (never used it), the Atkins Book (NEVER used it), and the Six Week Body Makeover system (sort of used it). I also have just about every BeachBody exercise system (Yoga Booty Ballet, Power 90, Slim in Six) – and I have used them all, Winsor Pilates, The Firm – do you see a pattern…I used to stay up late watching infomercials…just fascinated by them!

I eventually got to within 10 pounds of pre-baby weight…and then I was “knocked on my butt”…we moved from So Cal (I am a native So Cal girl…boo-hoo!). I compensated for the move, the lack of friends, and the 55 straight days of foggy weather that summer with a lot of wine and chocolate chip cookies and gained back some weight.

I got pregnant again and vowed I would not do to my body what I did the first time…and I didn’t. I walked 3-4 times a week…long walks, and ate really well, and only gained 15 pounds. So technically, I have lost the second baby weight, but still have the first baby weight. And, I have not been able to make real and lasting dent in the number on the scale since….but I refuse to accept this.

PART II
Fast forward again to 2009…it is high school reunion time and I reconnect with Renee on Facebook. She talks about nutrition and has a way of approaching and accepting food that I understand, that I want to be able to adopt fully. We talk a lot about body image and I realize that even when I was thinner, I was still self-conscious…so while losing weight is important, so is fixing the negative body image issues, not just for me, but so that they are not passed on to my kiddos. I also have an “A-ha!” moment…

I was at the beach with Joe. A friend and her daughter joined us. Joe just wanted to play in the water, but no one wanted to do it with him. I had my bathing suit on, but not really for that purpose…more for necessity (like in case I had to rescue him from the sea). He kept asking and he was sad…and bored. And finally it hit me…how do I want my kids to remember me…the mom sitting on the beach who won’t get in the water (of course they don’t know the reasons…yet) or as the mom who was willing to jump in and play. I chose the “play.” A HUGE step for me, and the moment when I realized what I needed to do for me and for my kids.

PART III
One of the most important things I realized is that, as a mom I am responsible for the little nuggets of wisdom I put into the kiddos heads. They also pick up on everything I do – how I act and react, what I say and how I say it. To be a good mom, I need to be happy with me. I need to be able to take some time for me…even if it is just 20 minutes here and there. I need to sleep. I need to move and exercise and be a positive example. It is true, when I am sleeping, eating better, working out and taking time to “work on me,” I am happier and a better, more patient mom.

These are some other thoughts I walked away with that night. I KNEW MOST OF THEM, JUST NEEDED TO HEAR THEM AGAIN. I will elaborate on them in future posts (if anyone is still reading after this long-winded one).
1. Food is not the enemy. It is a source of nutrition, energy, and power…if it is the right food.
2. Pure, natural (organic, if possible) food in it’s original state is the best source of nutrition.
3. There is a physiological and emotional connection to food and always will be. It is about learning how to tame it.
4. You do not have to give anything up (except for health reasons), but you must realize when it is OK to have a smaller serving of that special thing and make sure it is not frequently eaten.
5. Stay away from low-fat and non-fat processed foods.
6. We need the right kind of fats in our diet – olive oil, avocado, etc.
7. Good carbs are not the enemy. 

IN CONCLUSION:
My family already eats pretty healthy...of course, there is always room for improvement, but for the most part, I would give us an A-. I know what is good and bad for me...for us. I know how to cook it. Now I just need to find that "something" that is missing to make me really get the connection.

Because of all of this, I was pleasantly surprised at the content of Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches and was excited to implement some of its practices and rules, which I just started doing (seriously, did you think I was going to do it over the holidays?)

Do you have any issue that you feel like sharing? A story? Something that has worked for you? An "A-Ha" moment?

Happy Eating!
Signature

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or food expert. I am simply sharing my thoughts and ideas. A doctor should check you out before you begin a new eating or lifestyle plan. 
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with one copy of Cinch! to do my review. The opinions expressed are mine.

6.03.2010

Win, Lose, or Blog is Here!

There is a new blog in town
with a mission to promote a healthy lifestyle!
Win, Lose, or Blog is an fun, inspired, and original
weight loss challenge for the blogging world.

I am truly passionate about real food and the impact it, along with exercise, can have on your attitude, your body, your mind, and and your life. I do not have the answers all figured out...at all! But I work to educate myself every day on health, fitness, and how to improve my lifestyle, as well as forge a healthy and happy path for my kiddos.
That is why I am a part of this team of fabulous ladies!
Jill from Women Who Do It All, Fawnda from Fireflies and Jelllybeans, Maria from Huff and Buff, Lindsey from Fitness for the Rest of Us, Sumo from Sumo's Sweet Stuff, and Myself have worked to create this fun and exciting new blog! 
{I just may possibly also need to get back on track after spending all of my available workout hours blogging...shhh...don't tell anyone my secret!}

have to offer you? 
Want to be a contestant?
Each season of the challenge (lasting 8 weeks) we will choose eight contestants. This is your chance to win some MAJOR prizes! The "winner" (based on percentage of body weight lost) will win one big whopper of a prize. Second and third place contestants will also win some great prizes. And everyone else will get something just for participating.

Just want to follow?
We have multiple health and fitness experts on our team who are going to be posting information, recipes, tips, inspiration and more. So come follow and get a little help living a healthier lifestyle. Also, at the end of each season two followers will win a prize (worth at least $40) just for leaving comments throughout the season. And you know it will be fun to watch the competition play out and cheer on the contestants :)

Go check out Win, Lose, or Blog!!!! And spread the word! 
Remember how each comment you leave all season long counts as an entry for two great prizes? Want to get a head start on those? Head on over to Win, Lose, or Blog and you'll notice that you can leave three comments for displaying our button on your blog and five comments for writing an exciting post announcing us to your friends. We want you to invite others to join the the fun and gain some motivation to live a healthier lifestyle.

Grab our Button and Get Ready to Transform Your Life!



Signature

2.02.2010

Mind, Body, Food...I Broke Two Rules

I am a rules a person.
Yes, I have a lot of rules.
I usually don't break rules....but I did!
I broke two of my own rules.
{GASP!}
Now, I should warn you, this post is turning out to be long. I also need you to understand I was not that girl in middle school or high school who watched the movie about how hot dogs were made and vowed never to eat them again. I am just now truly interested in what has happened to our food supply and what the heck is going on so I can make me family healthier and teach my kids the right thing. I also know some of this works because at 22/23 I did eat vegan {for health and weight issues} and never felt better or looked better in my entire life. I did this for about 4 years, and then fell off the wagon when I got married...My guide, my favorite book in regards to this is

Dr. McDougall also has a website with free information,
recipes, and a free eating program.

Oh, you want to know what rules I broke...
Rule One...Long ago, when I had quit my job after getting married and was figuring out what I was going to do with my life, I watched a lot of Oprah. Hubby would come home, and our conversation would begin like, "On Oprah today..."  So that became hubby's rule...no sentence can begin with "On Oprah today..." Over time, I got "over" Oprah, and my rule was simply no more Oprah {I know, I know...don't leave me for that!}.

Rule Two...I N-E-V-E-R buy celebrity endorsed products, especially diet or cookbooks. Call me a jaded Angeleno, but I am quite over celebrities being experts on "everything."

So, within 24 hours, both of those rules where out the window...at least for awhile. On Monday night, I was checking out the TV schedule for  the evening and saw that Oprah was having a special called Food 101 with Michael Pollan. For those of you who have read my Mindy...Body...Food posts {see the bottom of this post for the links}, you know I am all about changing the way I and my entire family eats - "out" with funky ingredients and preservatives and "in" with whole, nutritious, real food.

Any way this was a great special with so much info, really good info! I was also very interested because a few ladies have mentioned the book The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I have not read it yet, but I am buying the book today. From what I understand Michael Pollan does eat meat...he is not a vegan...he just eats the "right" kind of meat {just so no one thinks this is a "vegan-only" post}.


He also has one for kids...


Oprah mainly focused on his Book, Food Rules: An Eaters Manual

Some of the rules they covered on the special were:
1. Eat food .
2: Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
7: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
13: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
She also referenced a documentary called Food Inc. I am actually kind of afraid to watch it!
The Oprah special is recapped HERE.
And you have to take the food quiz...it is appalling!

Now for the second broken rule...Alicia Silverstone was on Oprah's special. I knew she was a vegan...I have heard this before, but I actually listened to her this time. Yes, I listened to a celebrity babble on about something...BUT she wasn't babbling..she made so much sense. She has a book out too, called The Kind Diet and I went out the next day and bought it.

In it, she details many different aspects of eating, health, and her perspective on being vegan and why. She also talks about Dr.McDougall {so she had me there!}. She offers recipes at different levels of change from "Flirting" to "Superhero," depending on what you are ready for. I liked this because while I can do "Superhero," hubby will "Flirt." I found I can use many of her recipes as side dishes for him...He must have meat {his idea, not mine}!!!!

Of course I could not talk about this book without having tried some of the recipes. I made the  Quinoa with Basil and Pine Nuts. A pretty basic recipe overall - prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to directions, toast pine nuts, chop basil, mix altogether and drizzle with olive oil. Easy and good (do I dare tell you I have never made quinoa before...I have always had it in the pantry, but never made it...I was afraid...so this was a good recipe to try.}.

Did I mention there are desserts? Last night I made the Coffee Fudge Brownies...six thumbs up from me and the kiddos (hubby is out of town). Really, really good! So, I am actually kind of in love with this "Kind Diet," and very excited to try more.

I am at the point where I will be seriously looking into organic chickens and grass fed beef for the family. As for me, I am pretty sure I am going to go Vegetarian again. I have a hard time calling myself a vegan, because I cannot say I won't slip up and eat cheese or anything like that. I also prefer this method of eating because I just do not want to count calories or fat or carbs or points.

Either way, they also say it is good for the environment to go meatless at least once a week. I am not preaching vegetarianism, veganism, or anything else..just exploring. What do you think? Do you buy celebrity endorsed products? Did you watch the Oprah special? 

Happy Eating!
Holly

If you are new or need a refresher on
the Mind, Body, Food Posts…
The Beginning: How it came to be.
Chapter 1: The Road to Complete Nutrition (body Image and food)
Chapter 2:Healthy Menu and Chicken Chili Recipe
Chapter 3: Pantry Perfection and a Homemade Ketchup recipe

1.12.2010

Mind, Body, Food...The Road to Complete Nutrition

Honestly I have struggled with how to approach this. I try to keep my content light and happy or entertaining (I hope!) and not go too personal, but every time I sat down, this post got personal. I have used every excuse in the book to begin this series of posts, including “I don’t have any pretty pictures to include.” Yes, I know L-A-M-E! This post is long...you have been warned.
PROLOGUE:
Have you seen the Slimquick commercials? You know the ones where the husband quits drinking soda and drops 10 lbs....that is my house. My hubby who considered potatoes to be his vegetable source, started eating salads and dropped white flour from his diet and lost a ton of weight without exercising in a matter of months. I however workout everyday, eat lots of veggies and NADA! Complete frustration. I began talking to my friend Renee, a Holistic Health and NLP Practitioner, AADP, about what the heck to do.

PART I
Here is the back story…I have a love/hate relationship with food and it is probably safe to say a mild (to severe) addiction to sugar. In my very early 20’s I would exercise and then justify eating ½ gallon of Thrifty Mint Chip ice cream. Then I met a much older man (who I thought was also much wiser) and we dated. He suggested I eat healthier…duh (for now we shall leave alone the idea that he just wanted to date a really hot 20-something chick)! Additionally, I was moving out on my own at the time and had no idea how to cook. So the timing was perfect, he suggested a book and a way of eating that I loved and embraced for 4 years – no dairy, no meat, no oil, no sugar, no salt – Vegetarian+. I looked H-O-T and felt great. Eventually we broke up, I started dating future-hubby (who never met a meat or potato he didn’t like) and I fell off the wagon…just a little.

Fast forward…I battled with 5-10 pounds after this. Good or bad, I am tall, 5’11”, and can hide the extra pounds so that it doesn’t seem like so much. Then I got pregnant. And I ate and ate…chocolate chip pancakes…more mint chip ice cream…and pickled green beans (yum). I gained a staggering amount of weight. I was really appalled and surprised – I just didn’t think for a second it was that bad…until it was that bad. Over the course of the next few years I yo-yo’ed with my weight.

I have been to Weight Watchers, I have seen a nutritionist, I have the South Beach Diet book (never used it), the Atkins Book (NEVER used it), and the Six Week Body Makeover system (sort of used it). I also have just about every BeachBody exercise system (Yoga Booty Ballet, Power 90, Slim in Six) – and I have used them all, Winsor Pilates, The Firm – do you see a pattern…I used to stay up late watching infomercials…just fascinated by them!

I eventually got to within 10 pounds of pre-baby weight…and then I was “knocked on my butt”…we moved from So Cal (I am a native So Cal girl…boo-hoo!). I compensated for the move, the lack of friends, and the 55 straight days of foggy weather that summer with a lot of wine and chocolate chip cookies and gained back some weight.

I got pregnant again and vowed I would not do to my body what I did the first time…and I didn’t. I walked 3-4 times a week…long walks, and ate really well, and only gained 15 pounds. So technically, I have lost the second baby weight, but still have the first baby weight. And, I have not been able to make real and lasting dent in the number on the scale since….but I refuse to accept this.

PART II
Fast forward again to 2009…it is high school reunion time and I reconnect with Renee on Facebook. She talks about nutrition and has a way of approaching and accepting food that I understand, that I want to be able to adopt fully. We talk a lot about body image and I realize that even when I was thinner, I was still self-conscious…so while losing weight is important, so is fixing the negative body image issues, not just for me, but so that they are not passed on to my kiddos. I also have an “A-ha!” moment…

I was at the beach with Joe. A friend and her daughter joined us. Joe just wanted to play in the water, but no one wanted to do it with him. I had my bathing suit on, but not really for that purpose…more for necessity (like in case I had to rescue him from the sea). He kept asking and he was sad…and bored. And finally it hit me…how do I want my kids to remember me…the mom sitting on the beach who won’t get in the water (of course they don’t know the reasons…yet) or as the mom who was willing to jump in and play. I chose the “play.” A HUGE step for me, and the moment when I realized what I needed to do for me and for my kids.

All of this leads me to asking Renee to come visit for the weekend and talk to a group of ladies that have similar concerns. I was not really sure what to expect, and the evening turned out to be quite emotional. I, in fact, was emotional for weeks after. I was finally realizing some of my issues and preparing to tackle them.

PART III
One of the most important things I realized is that, as a mom I am responsible for the little nuggets of wisdom I put into the kiddos heads. They also pick up on everything I do – how I act and react, what I say and how I say it. To be a good mom, I need to be happy with me. I need to be able to take some time for me…even if it is just 20 minutes here and there. I need to sleep. I need to move and exercise and be a positive example. It is true, when I am sleeping, eating better, working out and taking time to “work on me,” I am happier and a better, more patient mom.

These are some other thoughts I walked away with that night. I KNEW MOST OF THEM, JUST NEEDED TO HEAR THEM AGAIN. I will elaborate on them in future posts (if anyone is still reading after this long-winded one).
1. Food is not the enemy. It is a source of nutrition, energy, and power…if it is the right food.
2. Pure, natural (organic, if possible) food in it’s original state is the best source of nutrition.
3. There is a physiological and emotional connection to food and always will be. It is about learning how to tame it.
4. You do not have to give anything up (except for health reasons), but you must realize when it is OK to have a smaller serving of that special thing and make sure it is not frequently eaten.
5. Stay away from low-fat and non-fat processed foods.
6. We need the right kind of fats in our diet – olive oil, avocado, etc.
7. Good carbs are not the enemy. 

IN CONCLUSION:
My family already eats pretty healthy...of course, there is always room for improvement, but for the most part, I would give us an A-. I know what is good and bad for me...for us. I know how to cook it. Now I just need to find that "something" that is missing to make me really get the connection.

Now, of course I also realize there are many ways of thinking and many ways to approach a healthier lifestyle. Each person has to find that approach that works for them. This is what I am hoping will work for me and my family. I am open to hearing ideas and learning more. In the coming weeks I will be sharing some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G recipes that are healthy and delicious.

Do you have any issue that you feel like sharing? A story? Something that has worked for you? An "A-Ha" moment?

Happy Eating!
Holly

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or food expert. I am simply sharing my thoughts and ideas. A doctor should check you out before you begin a new eating or lifestyle plan.

11.03.2009

Getting Healthy

Last week, I gathered up the munchkins, tried to brush their hair (OY!) and headed on over to Achor and Eden for a little photo shoot. I just had to share a photo or two, because I {heart} these photos! Now, this is a long post that may seem disjointed but it is all connected (at least in my mind!). Bear with me...

Jules in Zookini Kids Sweetheart Anna Dress
and her ruby slippers, of course!


Part I
So, I am going to begin with a plug for my very talented friend, Renee who designs these sweet, totally adorable, age appropriate dresses for her company Zookini Kids. I have known Renee for a long time - since middle school. We were more of acquaintances through middle school and high school, and had not kept in touch at all...our tie was really that we were both going to be attending design school. Some-odd years later, enter Facebook and a high school reunion and now, as adults, we are friends - in real life not just on Facebook! Facebook was my great time-sucker for awhile (I am currently cheating on it with Blogger), but it did help me connect and reconnect with some people who are having a major impact on my thinking.

My sweet boy!


When I saw Renee's designs I fell in love with them immediately. These dresses are exactly the way I want my daughter to dress...at least while I have a say. So, head on over to the Zookini Kids website and check out her other designs. You can also hop over to Hip, Stylish, and Totally Cool Weddings to see some of the dresses I selected as truly unique alternatives to the typical fluffy white flower girl dresses.



Part II
Once upon a time I was a vegetarian..almost a vegan (for health reasons). I felt great and looked good. I fell off the wagon, got pregnant and ate too many chocolate chip pancakes and too much mint chip ice cream (I was young and invincible...I thought). Since then, I have been fighting with baby weight (from the first baby...Jules was a breeze..only gained 15 pounds and that is gone). In recent years, I have been trying to jump back on the healthy bandwagon. Overall my family has a pretty healthy diet. My kids eat most vegetables without too much trouble, and hubby also has to watch what he eats. So my meals are heavy on the veggies and lean protein.


Now, have you seen the Slimquick commercials? You know the ones where the husband quits drinking soda and drops 10 lbs....that is my house. My hubby who considered potatoes to be his vegetable source, started eating salads and dropped white flour from his diet and lost a ton of weight without exercising in a matter of months. I however workout everyday, eat lots of veggies and NADA! Complete frustration. I began talking to Renee about this...

...you see, beyond being a fabulous designer, Renee is passionate about health and well being. She is a Holistic Health and NLP Practitioner, AADP. This is the description from her blog..."I received my training to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods." She sees Zookini Kids as "a conduit for education, nurturing, community, and a healthy mind and body." She is a wealth of knowledge and inspiring too. She has helped me transform some of my recipes, "Don't Tell the Kids It's Healthy" Apple Cake, and was the inspiration for A Perfect Fall Cookie (basically her recipe). 

One day, she and I were talking, really we were IM-ing on Facebook, about moms and kids and nutrition. I was feeling inspired and suggested she travel North and I would host a Healthy Happy Hour. So, next weekend, I am inviting some ladies over to chat about various health related matters, losing weight, and general nutrition. Some of the topics we may cover include:
  1. Bring a recipe and we will healthify it!
  2. Why it is better to read the ingredients rather than the calories, sodium, etc. Check out Renee's post about Calorie Counting.
  3. The differences in sugars and flours. Refined sugars and flours vs. more fully whole flours and sugars.
  4. Ways to make recipes healthier/better for you.
  5. Connection of food to feeling good, not just about weight, but your health overall (hormones, disease, etc.).
  6. Convincing our kids (and us) to eat better.
  7. Overcoming obstacles (in our minds) to get healthy/lose weight.
  8. Implementing what we already know (i.e. I already know some stuff about nutrition, etc...so why do I eat junk or let my kids do it when I know it is bad.).
  9. Finding a balance between eating healthy and enjoying what we eat.
  10. Curing ailments through the right foods.
  11. Vegetarianism...better for you or not?
  12. What are good proteins, good carbs, good fats?
The list is a work in progress...so what I am asking is:
Through blogland would you like to be involved?
Do any of you have questions related to these matters that you would like answered?
Do any of you have a recipe or two that you would like to make healthier?


I would love to hear anything. Renee is really practical and non-judgmental...I let Jules eat Cheetos the last time I saw her! If so, send me the questions - Post them in the comment section - I'd prefer you post in the comment section, but if it is personal or you just don't want to share with the world, email them to me at holly504main@yahoo.com. Please email recipes to me.


Thanks for bearing with me! Looking forward to hearing from you!


Holly

9.25.2009

An apple must have fallen on my head....

...and now I think I can really cook...or bake as the case may be. Yes, I promise to "stop with the apples already." After all, soon it will be strawberry season, and then I can go on-and-on about strawberries.

Well, back to the point...I was "challenged" by my friend Renee, a Certified Holistic Health and NLP Practitioner, AADP, to go into the test kitchen (I am chuckling when I write this, as up until 4 years ago, my idea of cooking was to make my husband a lasagna that would last the whole week and always make sure I had hot dogs in the frig for my son, and now I say I have a "test kitchen") and make The "I Love Apple Cake" Apple Cake healthier.

So, I am game...with some suggestions, I loaded up Jules and headed for Whole Foods (don't tell my husband) to gather up the supplies. There are some pretty amazing and healthy ingredients sitting in my kitchen write now.

Sorry to tell you this post will end anti-climatically...I am concocting The "I Love Healthy Apple Cake" Apple Cake recipe as we speak (or in about twelve hours).