Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weight Loss and Healthier Eating and Living

Over the past two years I've been trying (or thinking of trying) to lose weight.  For me to get serious, I mean truly serious, I think it was simply getting sick and tired of the way my clothes fit and not being able to wear my old clothes.  I work out at the gym several days a week, spin classes, treadmill, StairMaster and weight machines and even though, all that exercise wasn't doing the trick.  Thinking I was eating healthy, my body weight kept increasing little by little.  Sneaking up on me.  I didn't feel that I was considered 'fat' but I did have some 'fat' on my body that wouldn't go away with exercise alone.  My daughter had lost some weight and I think that really inspired me to finally make a change.  She convinced me that it really wasn't too hard after the first few days and she was right.  I think those were the hardest.  Once I'd made the decision to do something about it, there was nothing to stop me from accomplishing my goals of getting leaner and more fit.  Once I set my mind to something, I mean seriously set my mind to it, then I just do it.  You see, it was bound to come to a head for me eventually because I've never been more than five or ten pounds overweight in my life except for when I was pregnant and that's not being overweight.  

On October 6th I began counting my daily calorie intake on this free site SparkPeople.com.  What's great about SparkPeople is that they even give you meal time suggestions and recipes.  There is a whole network to tap into if you decide to utilize it. 

By counting my calories it's really helped open my eyes as to what a serving size of food really is.  Based on my height, age, weight, etc., it told me that I should consume between 1200 and 1500 calories per day.  I'm sticking to the low side of those numbers just so I can take it off a little quicker but a couple of times have gone over the 1200 calories.  As of today I've lost a total of nine pounds.  Yay!  I've at least seven more to go but maybe as much as twelve more pounds.  It will depend on how I look and feel.

For the most part, I weigh and measure out all of my serving sizes.  If a box of crackers says a serving is 3 crackers, that is all I eat.  I also cut out all potato chips and french fries and things like that.  I don't miss them and don't crave them.  The only thing I might crave and have a weakness for is popcorn but limit myself on that and always cook it myself and mostly skip the butter but once in awhile might treat myself to a pat of melted butter on top.  I'll tell you what I do to my popcorn to make it tasty in a minute.

Here's a few samples of what I've been eating.
Since I began doing this, I have one serving size of oatmeal every single morning.  At first I was using 1/4 teaspoon of honey to sweeten but now I omit that and make it more hearty by adding 1 tbsp of raisins, one date, 1 Tbsp of dried cranberries, a little banana and, or things like that.  I also have a little health mixture that I made up and keep in the freezer.  I always add one small teaspoon of this to my oatmeal bowl.  All together, my calories for breakfast comes just under 300.  I usually have 1/2 cup of orange juice, too.  The calories includes the o.j..

Nutritional Mix (can have some or all of the ing. below) Store in freezer; 1 tsp. = 1 serving.
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup roasted, lightly salted pumpkin seeds (find Pepitas at Trader Joes and roast them yourself)
1 cup finely chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts (whatever you want or a mix)
If I have any healthy granola leftover such as Kind, I will put some of that into the mixture.

This is a sample of my lunch.  Salmon, sometimes smoked salmon as shown here, 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese, 1/2 tomato, baked sweet potatoes or other vegetable.  I like to mix it up for variety.  Sometimes I have 1/2 cup brown rice and/or a piece of fruit such as a fuyu persimmon or an Asian pear to replace one or two of the things on my plate.  I always use a small plate for my lunch.

Samples ideas for lunch, I choose two or three things and not always do I include meat:
3 to 4 oz. cooked chicken, salmon or other fish
one boiled egg (the whole egg, the white and yolk work together and is healthy)
1/2 cup brown rice or one slice of wholegrain bread with a very small pat of butter
small green salad, 1 tbsp low fat dressing
piece of fresh fruit or a small bowl of berries
baked potato, 1 small pat of butter and/or 1 tbsp low fat sour cream
1/2 cup vegetarian refried beans and 1/2 cup brown rice

For snacking, I keep out a bowl of nuts, the kind you have to crack open to eat.  I find that this works better for me than leaving out a bowl of any kind of food that you can just pop into your mouth as you walk past it.  That's a no no around here.  No candy, no ice-cream and no potato chips.  As I said, I don't crave these things.  I must mention though, we did go out for lunch last Wednesday, it was a special date with some friends.  We all went to an ice-cream parlor and I split a sundae with Michael.  It was a little splurge and I didn't feel guilty because I've been doing so good and am committed.  I think it's important to have little treats like this without any guilt.  Or it won't work.  Simple as that.  Gotta live life and have a little fun and enjoy things.  

Other snack food ideas:
1 serving size = 1/4 cup nuts (roasted and unsalted peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc.)
(sometimes I cut this in half and only have 1/8 cup)
serving (1/4 cup) of raisins or other dried fruit such as dried cranberries.
piece of fresh fruit
1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese and tomato with black pepper (note: 1 cup = 1 serving of cottage cheese) Always non fat!!
Raw carrots
Celery with 1 tbsp. low fat cream cheese or 1 tbsp. pure peanut butter (you know the kind that separates, not full of hydrogenated fats, just real peanuts and salt for the ingredients listed)
Non fat yogurt with a little cut up fresh fruit or berries or nuts.

Dinners Usually at least three items from this list.
1 serving lean beef, chicken or fish or sometimes beans and sometimes no meat at all.
A serving of cooked vegetable
non fat cottage cheese with tomato and pepper or dill
1 serving size steamed, boiled or baked potato, fingerlings or sweet potato. 
1 slice of whole grain bread and small pat of butter
1 serving size of brown rice
1 serving (1 cup) of homemade beef stew, beans, spaghetti, soup, etc..

These are only small samples of things.  Monavie also has a meal replacement shake and once in awhile I would have that if I didn't have time or want to take the time to put something together.
It's a quick on the go nutritious and delicious meal replacement that comes in chocolate or vanilla.

Well, there you have it in a nutshell.  My diet plan.  One thing to mention about my change in workout schedule.  I now go to spin class two days per week and at least three and sometimes four days a week I'm hiking 4.5 miles a day which ends up being anywhere from 13.5 to 18 miles per week.  So I'm not spending as much time at the gym and I think hiking is really making a difference.  It's not a hike for wimps.  It's a steep and steady climb up to the top and it's making my legs slim down and stronger.  I'm hooked!  We even hiked in the rain one day last week. I bought a new hat which folds down to cover my ears when it's cold and windy and snaps up in place when not needed.  I got it at Duluth Trading Company.  I love their clothing.  Very well made.
About popcorn.  I love popcorn.  Always have and always will.  Up until very recently, I was using a little oil in a popcorn popper to make my favorite treat but yesterday purchased a Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn popper.  It was on sale at a hardware store in Alameda and I decided to get it for more healthier popcorn.  I haven't tried it yet but plan on having a movie night very soon.

To freshly popped popcorn add two or more of the following:
A little salt
Nutritional yeast (I found a store in Alameda that has a tasty, non bitter one)
The yeast adds a little cheesy flavor to the popcorn.
Dried ground oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc., basically Italian seasoning.  Just a little needed.
Garlic (garlic can be garlic powder, which is easy to sprinkle on top or use freshly minced garlic in a little melted butter for a treat)
Grated Parmesan Cheese.   


  1. Popcorn is everyone favorites. It change our mood. It is very necessary during movies.

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