Thursday, October 13, 2016

Measuring Success

Have you ever noticed how great you feel at check in time when you've been doing well? That feeling is important! It takes you back to the days of getting a gold star from the teacher, a pat on the back from a co-worker, or kudos from the boss.  Feeling good about working hard and making progress is a big deal.

So in the world of a healthy lifestyle of eating well and moving more, what does a successful check in look like?  What does it consist of? Everyone's benchmarks will look completely different and that's A-okay.  It's important that you identify what a successful, week/day/hour looks like for you. If you aren't sure how to measure your success, here are a couple ideas.

  • Your head is happy with your choices for food.
  • Your body is happy with your movement choices.
  • Your stomach is content - not too full, not hungry, just comfy and satisfied.
  • If you are following a plan you know you stuck to the plan at least 90% of the time. Don't beat yourself up over the % - there is room for interpretation there depending on your history.
  • The scale has dropped.
  • Your clothes fit better, are getting loose, need to be down-sized.
  • You stuck to your plan for the whole week/day/hour. (Again this all depends on your history.)
  • Your hair is shinier.
  • Your skin is glowing.
  • Your finger nails are strong.
  • Your self confidence is growing.
  • You planned the meals for the week.  Then shopped, prepared and enjoyed them. 
What does success look like for you?  Remember if you're just starting - baby steps are key.  You can't change everything all at once.  One thing at a time and when that feels comfortable, then change another thing - before you know it you'll have made many healthy changes!  

Don't forget to watch for success and give yourself a pat on the back or that gold star!

My check in report after three days of renewing my focus?  So far terrific!  Happy with food choices, movement not too bad, tummy is satisfied, percent on plan is high.  It's too early to tell on the scale or in the fit of my clothes, but the confidence is growing. 

How are you doing?  What other ways do you use to measure success?   

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Greetings friends after a VERY long hiatus!
I have been slowly traveling a slippery slope.  To be transparent and honest with you, I've been able to stay at/under/near goal for 8 years. Last year I was 5 pounds over and this year I'm 10 over.  It's time to pay serious attention!   So went back to review my old posts to help propel me to a good frame of mind regarding healthy eating.  I came upon this post from 2008 and thought it was a good place to start. After revisiting this post I've prepared a shopping list and am heading to the grocery store this afternoon with renewed purpose. 

Anyone want to join me?  
We can do this together!

Sunday, October 19, 2008
They said the day would come...
They said the day would come that staying at goal weight would become a challenge. I am sad to say my friends that after 2 years at goal that day has come. I am officially 2.4 pounds over my goal. I am 10 pounds heavier than I was a year ago. This is not good and does not make me feel good.

I was thinking about it this afternoon and I came to the conclusion that I can do as I've done in the past and just ignore it and see what happens OR I can set my mind to doing something to make a change.

Option #1 - Ignore it and see what happens - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm experience has proven time and again that when I just ignore it, "IT" does not go away. The problem gets worse and I become very unhappy with myself.

Option #2 - Set my mind to doing something to make a change - Not the easy route by any means; but the best route nonetheless. This has to be my choice. In fact, there is no choice in my mind. I also listened when they said to give away all my larger clothes. I cannot change size or I'll have nothing to wear.

The tough to put my plan into action. Here's what I decided to do:
Get back to following the CORE food plan with a fervor.
Go grocery shopping and buy healthy food that supports my efforts. I allowed NOTHING in my cart that would compromise my efforts. (Ask Thorsten, he tried really hard and even tried "pouting" but I would not give in!)
Cook up a big pot of beef barley and veggie soup. This will give me plenty of easy, healthy lunches or fast suppers this week so I don't fall into the "I'm tired, hurried, etc. trap"
Cook up a pot of homemade chili. (reference above)
Prep veggies - clean and cut them for easy munching.
Make sure I get my water in each day.
I decided these were the items I will focus on this week. I will exercise, but it won't be in the written plan until next week.

As a friend/family how can you best support me in my efforts?
Ask me how it's going - it's okay to acknowledge this is a time of struggle for me.
Don't suggest or ask if I'd like to have a cookie, ice cream or pizza. I'm weak right now and if I give in I will regret it later. Trust me.
Ask if I'd like to go for a walk or do something that gets me out and moving.
Ask if I'd like to see a movie.
Celebrate with me when I succeed! Without food :)

They told me this day would come.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Teal Pumpkin Project

What a great idea!  I just read about The Teal Pumpkin Project and what a great idea!

It's all about raising awareness during Halloween around food allergies and promoting safety, inclusiveness and empathy for those who have a food allergy. A non food treat option benefits children with food allergies, as well as those with diabetes and other conditions.

It easy to join in.

  • Display the sign or a teal pumpkin on your porch, door or easy to see spot letting trick or treaters know that a non-food treat is available at your home.  
  • Purchase a non-food option (need ideas?  click here for suggestions) and be sure to keep your bowl of non-food treats separate from any candy, to ensure that the non-food items stay safe.  
  • When the little ghosts and goblins come knocking simply ask which they would prefer. The non food items are very popular with everyone! 

If you only offer non food treats, it's a win-win.  The kids get a non food treat and you don't end up tempted with a ton of sugary candy around the house.  No evil leftovers staring you in the face causing you to implement tough love.    What a great idea!  Happy Trick or Treat friends!

Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm Upset!

I'm upset.  Today I was shopping and as I passed through the various clothing departments I noticed in the section of the store with the larger sized clothing for women they had mini displays of chocolate bars, caramel corn and other sweets ready for the easy grab.  The more I think about it, the more it upsets me.

In the past when I was heavier I'd go to buy new jeans or slacks, would grab "my" size from the rack, and head to the fitting room where they'd be too tight. What followed were feelings of frustration and disgust with myself for having gained weight. Sometimes I'd say, "forget the new pants" and whether I bought pants or not I would inevitably head toward the purchase of some type of comfort food.  A candy bar, a big soft pretzel, or something with ooey, gooey goodness.  Naturally this only made the problem worse.

Walking through the mall today I recognized the trigger to want something sweet.  Just like I've conditioned myself to for years, right? (Scary that after 9 years I still have that trigger!) I was already feeling this pull from the trigger and then I saw the displays. I passed by.  I didn't purchase anything, so yay me!  However, someone needs to sit that store manager down and explain that what they are doing is cruel.  Simply cruel.  That's not marketing!  It's preying on someone's weakness and feels like a form of bullying.

I'm upset.     

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A New Day

Today is a new day.

It doesn't matter that in June I told myself, "It's time for a new start.  I can do this."  .... and then I did very little.  I guess I wasn't ready to make the changes necessary.

Today is a new day.

Yesterday I decided it was time to make necessary changes.  Yesterday went very well.  Today has been going really well.

I don't have to change everything at once.  Just one thing at a time.  My bad habits didn't all come back at once.  They edged back into my life at a time.

Today is a new day.  Are you ready? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reality check

As life carries on it's easy to pick up new behaviors and set others aside. It's good to do a reality check every so often and make sure the things you are doing are still taking you where you want to go.  I've been looking more closely lately at my current patterns and I've decided I need to make some adjustments. 

1.  I started a great new job last October requiring me to move to NYC. this has been a major change.
2.  My weight is up.  Nine pounds over my Weight Watchers goal weight to be exact. My clothes fit funny. 
3.  I think I'm eating healthy, but I haven't sat down lately and really looked at what I'm actually eating.
4.  I think I'm moving during my day, but my Virgin Health pedometer often tells me differently. 
5.  I think my portions are appropriate, but I haven't actually measured them lately. 
6.  I think I'm getting enough water, but at my recent doctor visit she said my biometrics showed that I was slightly dehydrated. 
7.  I realized I haven't made a blog post since 2012. 
It's time to revisit all those areas!  It's time to pick up where I left off with this blog!  For awhile you may see some oldies (but goodies) reposted but we'll move forward with fresh thoughts very soon. 

We can do this together. 
It's good to be back!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Do Something!

How do you know when the time is right to break out and start moving more?  The flat out answer is RIGHT NOW!  Now is the best time to do SOMETHING.  After I started losing weight I knew I'd eventually need (want?) to start exercising.  When I was younger I was quite active and enjoyed running but at 50 pounds heavier I was really not doing much of anything.  So when I decided it was time to start moving I figured that ANYTHING was better than the NOTHING that I had been doing.

If you haven't been exercising you'll want to check with your doctor first and when you have a green light from the doc start slow.  Where you start depends on your fitness level.  Do what is right for you whether that is a simple walk around the block or lifting Progresso soup cans for dumbbells.  You'll want to test the waters with something reasonable and be careful to NOT overdo it on the first day.  Many people have been known to go all out on the first day and then be injured or too sore to do something again the next day.

Our goal is to work up to 30 minutes of movement on most days.

You'll find that as you get used to it you'll enjoy it and will naturally want to increase the time and/or intensity.

I started by mowing the lawn.  Then I started walking.  I went further and I went faster until finally I was moving at a pretty good clip.  From walking I moved to the elliptical and from the elliptical I started running and that's another whole topic in itself.  (Click here to read about when I ran a marathon.)

Although still very useful for other
"stuff" running shoes need to be
replaced every 500 miles or so
The important thing is to do SOMETHING because anything is better than nothing my friends.

BONUS:  When you start moving more by walking, running or playing badminton you get to wear really awesome and colorful shoes!  Check out my nice little collection of lightning fast Kinvaras made by Saucony.  These little babies are SWEET!   

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Before every flight takes off the flight attendant goes through all the safety information.  The exits are located here, this is how you fasten your seatbelt, if you need oxygen put your mask on before helping others who need assistance...

Wait.  Stop.  Take care of ME first?

It is ingrained in our very nature to put others first, to put the needs of our children and family before our own so why would we possible put our own mask on first?  Because if you pass out due to lack of oxygen then you are not able to assist anyone else.  You are rendered helpless and then neither of you are in a good place.

So, you ask, what does that have to do with weight loss and healthy lifestyle?

It's the same principle my friends.  If you are constantly putting others first and neglecting yourself and your own needs at some point you will not be healthy.  You will not be in a good place.  You will not be able to do the things for your family that you'd like to.  Self-care is important and if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anything else.

It's OKAY to say no to them sometimes.
It's OKAY to schedule your work out time and let them go to plan B.
It's OKAY to fix a healthy meal for the WHOLE family and not eat chicken nuggets because that's what the kids would prefer.
It's OKAY to put everyone to bed early so you can get your rest.
It's OKAY to say no to a stop at Dairy Queen
It's OKAY to say no to a candy bar at the gas station or grocery store if it threatens your willpower and resolve
It's OKAY to take everyone for a walk instead of playing video games
It's OKAY to make sure you have what you need so you can be healthy and feel good.

Trust me.
It's OKAY.   

Friday, November 16, 2012


Kudos!  My hat is off to you!  Very cool!

Last night at our Weight Watcher meeting we had two people come to join.  Here it is the week before freaking THANKSGIVING - a foodfest if there ever was one - and they are joining a weight loss group!  I think that's wonderful.  What that says to me is they are not on some "New Year resolution" that will last a couple weeks and fall by the wayside.  They are not focusing on an upcoming wedding or class reunion expecting to drop 50 pounds in the next 2 weeks so they can look amazing and impress their friends and classmates.  Nope.  This man and woman (not a couple, I don't think they knew each other) were there because they want to change the way they eat.  I think that's stellar.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

I'm always on the lookout for great lower calorie, healthy recipes and snacks, so when I spotted this one the dialogue in my head went something like this:
ME:  "A creamy, lower calorie version of peanut butter on apples?  Hmmm, and with honey and cinnamon too!?  Whoot whoot I'm giving THIS one a try!"
Yup.  That's pretty much how it went and as soon as I'm done posting this recipe for the rest of the world to try I'm going to head into the kitchen and stir up a batch for little ol me!
Here's the recipe I saw on Pintrest:
So if you're watching your calorie intake, here's a way to enjoy that creamy, nutty taste without all the calories. It's made with nonfat Greek yogurt so it's creamy, low in fat, full of protein, and they swear it tastes like peanut butter ice cream! 
Take one 5.3-ounce container of nonfat Greek Vanilla yogurt.  Mix in two tbsp. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy), 1/2 tbsp. honey, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.  Serve with slices of apple, banana, and pear. Store unused portion in the fridge.
Makes four, two-tbsp. servings. Each serving contains 66 calories, 3.75 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, .75 grams of fiber, and 5.5 grams of protein.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pay Attention Girlfriend!

It's time to revisit some very basic and yet very important tips that can be key in a healthy lifestyle.  Over the upcoming weeks thats the plan and today we start with....

Pay attention!  Pay attention!  Pay attention!

Pay attention to the act of eating.  It is so appealing and so very easy to eat while watching TV, reading a book, working on the computer or doing something else but DON'T DO IT!  I find that if I am distracted while eating I don't taste it, don't enjoy it and sometimes don't even remember eating it.  This is just not acceptable.  Every bite should be tasted, enjoyed and not rushed.  If you do this you'll find that you appreciate the flavors and will eat a lot less.

Personal check in:  I am home alone most days and usually eat both breakfast and lunch by myself.  I realize that I have fallen into a habit of reading or working on the computer while I eat and thus I've been eating more.  It stops today!  From now on I plan to taste and enjoy every bite.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post Halloween Tough Love

November 1st.  The day after Halloween. The Trick or Treating goodness is sitting there in the orange plastic pumpkins staring you in the face.  It was lots of fun and the kids made a haul.  The bowl of candy for callers is still sitting next to the front door, the leftovers calling your name as loud as they can.  "Come and eat me!"  Oh my, what to do, what to do!?


  1. Dispose of the leftover candy.  Send it to work with your husband or throw it in the garbage and dump something gross, wet or goopy on top.  I can hear the dialogue in your head, "What? Throw away perfectly good candy?  But, but, but there are starving children in Africa!"  Yes!  Throw. It. Away.  You were okay with giving it away last night, so pretend it was all handed out and there are no leftovers.  It is gone.  (And do you really think starving children in Africa are going to benefit from YOU overeating on candy?)
  2. Your kids made a haul and it's in the house.  That is THEIR candy - not yours and this is not a time to teach them about sharing.  You wouldn't take their allowance or their money so why would you think it's okay to take their candy?  Its not.  The candy is theirs.  Leave. It. Alone.
  3. Start fresh with determination!  It's only 21 days until Thanksgiving and we all know that's another whole challenge to be dealt with separately.  Get back on track today!
  4. Make something really healthy and yummy for dinner.  Try a new recipe.  Make it appealing so its easy to stay on track. 
  5. Get outside and move.  Rake leaves, go for a brisk walk or bike ride, clean house like the in-laws are coming in an hour, whatever you do get your body moving more than you usually do.  
Halloween is only a day and even though it is laden with candy, its really not about candy.  Its about dressing up and having fun with others.  Relish that part and enjoy the laughter.  It's November now and Halloween is over.  Forget the candy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let's Start At The Very Beginning....

 As I type I can hear Julie Andrew's voice starting the famous song from the Sound of Music.  "Let's start at the very beginning.  It's a very good place to start."  Oh my, how very true those words are when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss as well!  If you haven't been living a particularly healthy lifestyle and want to make some changes to get on track it can be a very daunting and scary task.  So let's look at a couple small changes that will make a big difference in the long run.

Step One
Figure out what you are currently eating.  Are you eating junk?  Are you eating fruits and vegetables?  Are you eating items loaded with sugar?  High in calorie content?  High in fat?  Take a look at the labels and find out what you are putting in your body.  You won't know if you don't look.

Know what a
serving size looks like.
Read the labels!
Step Two
Look at the PORTION size for those items.  To keep it simple, if it's fresh fruits or vegetables use a piece (ie: a banana, an apple, a potato) as a single portion or use 1 cup for leafy items and a 1/2 cup for the others as good guideline.  If it's a packaged food it will say on the label what the portion size is and you'll be quite surprised to find out what a single serving of cereal or chips actually looks like when it's measured out.  Some items will pleasantly surprise you and others will NOT bring a smile to your face.  Trust me on this.

Step Three
Keep track and write it all down.  All. Of. It.  Every bite, lick and taste.   The only way to really do that is to write it down or track it using an online tool.  (There are a couple online trackers I've used and was pleased with both for different reasons.  One is Weight Watcher's online tracker (which has a fee involved) and the other is a free product from Livestrong.)  Weight Watchers tracks using the Points Plus Values and Livestrong tracks calories.  Both are good tools for our current purpose.

Knowledge is power and right now our goal is to get educated on WHAT and HOW MUCH we are eating.  Being aware, learning portions and journaling is a great place to start.

Do, rey, mi.  The first three notes just happen to be....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Still Walking The Walk

Much time has passed and it's time to check in.

I'm happy to say that I'm still walking the walk even though I'm not talking the talk very often any more.  Healthy food and consistent exercise has been my friend and I'm holding steady.  Every now and again I struggle with 5 pounds or so, but I've been pretty good about keeping it in check and am still at my goal weight.  We recently moved to Florida (moving to Florida in July must be the equivalent of moving to Wisconsin in January) and it's been HOT and HUMID so overeating does not appeal in the least.  I just wish that when I went outside and came in drenched with sweat that it would produce a huge loss on the scale... but alas it's just like living up north in that respect.  The key is slow, healthy weight loss brought on by consistent healthy eating and moving more.  I know that.  It's a constant.

I'm still running.  No marathons this year which is a good thing.  Running in Florida has been an adjustment.  It's like running underwater in the sense that if feels like every breath is full of moisture and lacking in oxygen.  I've been running 2, 3, 5 miles and I'm getting used to it though and it's feeling easier.  I'm planning on a half marathon in November, but it will definitely take some training in this locale to be ready for that distance here.

Guess that's the update for today.  I'm blogging at and www.burstingwithjoybiblestudy.blogspot in case you want to check it out.

Bacher out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Change - between the waiting and the doing

Between the waiting and the doing is the place where change takes place.

It is both passive and passionate

We can't rush it

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tigger and Isabelle are in cahoots with God!

This past week or so I've had a really difficult week making good choices about what I'm eating.  I've eaten enough sugar to choke a horse!  It takes a really LONG time to unwrap and eat 25 Hershey Kisses, but I'll bet I ate that many one afternoon. after the other.

So I was having a little chat with God about needing his help getting my eating choices back under control.  My prayer in the past has been, "Dear Lord, please  impress upon my heart the desire for healthy food, water and exercise.  Help me to make good choices."  So I lifted up that prayer once again while I was upstairs getting ready for work.  The inner dialogue in my head went something like this:

"Patti, get that leftover stromboli OUT of your lunch sack and throw it in the garbage!"
"No!  It's paid for!"
"Patti, you don't need it.  It doesn't support your desire to eat healthy."
"No!  There are starving children living down the road from Kari."
"Patti, you give others the permission to throw food away.  It's okay.  Just do it."
"But it tastes good!"

And then I prayed about it.  "Dear Lord, PLEASE help me to get back on track!"

I went downstairs and there on the kitchen counter sat Tigger and Isabelle, the cats, EATING MY STROMBOLI!  They had unzipped my lunch bag, removed the styrofoam container, and started munching away.  It didn't take long until I was laughing and realized that indeed God had answered my prayer.  He had used Tigger and Isabelle and they were of course glad to oblige.  It was all I needed to help get my head back into the healthy game and I packed another lunch this time with fruit, protein and veggies.

Thanks for watching my back Tig and Isabelle!    

Monday, February 21, 2011

Acknowledge the GOOD things within you!

A couple years ago when my self-esteem was at a low point, I read somewhere that you should  re-affirm daily positive things.  I created the following list, posted it on the bathroom mirror and read it daily.  I came across this list yesterday and realized how much it helped at the time, so thought I'd share the idea with you.  Here's my list:

I am God's child
I was created to honor and cherish him
I am a person of destiny
I am creative
I am strong
I am smart
I am blessed
I am a good parent
I am a good leader
I eat healthy and exercise because my body is a temple
I have the favor of God

Our faith is effective when we believe in ourselves!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cutting the Cake

You hear rumors about people cutting calories in cake by 
doing "this" or "that" and you're never quite sure 
what "they" did.   Well did lots of baking 
and tasting and their wonderful results are below.  Thanks 
once again HungryGirl or doing the homework for us!  
BTW - I personally have made the cake mix and diet soda
 version a couple times over the past years, and it's 
definately a winner.  Patti

Why make cake with eggs and oil when there are TONS of better 
options? Cake mix with diet soda? Just egg substitute? Only 
applesauce? We tried each of these methods and more (and had 
fun doing it)!  Here's what we learned....

Cake Mix + No-Sugar-Added Applesauce
PER SERVING (1 piece, 1/12th of cake): 179 
calories, 3.25g fat, 299mg sodium, 36g carbs, 
0.5g fiber, 21.5g sugars, 1.5g protein -- 
POINTS®value 4*
One 18.25-oz. box moist-style cake mix
1 cup no-sugar-added applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and add 
1 cup water. Whisk thoroughly and transfer to a 
baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; bake in 
the oven until a knife inserted into the center 
comes out clean. (Refer to cake-mix box for pan 
size and approximate bake time.)


Best Flavor: Yellow cake mix. It goes 
perfectly with the fruity taste of the sauce.

The Texture: VERY moist and fluffy. A+!

The Taste: AMAZING!!!! Sweet and 
slightly apple-y. Two YUMS up...

Cake Mix + Diet Soda
PER SERVING (1 piece, 1/12th of cake): 171 calories, 3.25g fat, 
301mg sodium, 34g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 19g sugars, 1.5g protein -- 
POINTS®value 4*
Ingredients:One 18.25-oz. box moist-style cake mix
One 12-oz. can diet soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly and transfer 
to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; bake in the oven until a 
knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Refer to cake-mix
box for pan size and approximate bake time.)


Best Flavor Combo: Yellow cake mix + diet cream soda. 
Runners-up include lemon cake mix + diet lemon-lime soda and 
devil's food cake mix + diet cherry cola.

The Texture: Moist and light.

The Taste: Pretty darn impressive! However, if you're sensitive to 
the sweetener in diet soda, you may notice a slight aftertaste... 
especially if you use cola of any kind.

Cake Mix + Canned Pure Pumpkin
PER SERVING (1 piece, 1/12th of cake): 183 calories, 3.5g fat, 301mg
 sodium, 37g carbs, 1.25g fiber, 20.5g sugars, 2g protein -- 
POINTS®value 4*

Ingredients:One 18.25-oz. box moist-style cake mix
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly -- batter will 
be VERY thick -- and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick 
spray; bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes 
out clean. (Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate 
bake time.)


Best Flavor: Devil's food cake mix is CLEARLY a classic choice. 
(Hello?!Yum Yum Brownie Muffins!) But spice cake mix... WOW. 
Yellow and white cake mixes, sadly, do not work as well.

The Texture: Thick and dense in the BEST possible way. 
Brownie-like, in the case of the devil's food; the spice cake reminded 
us of pumpkin bread!

The Taste: No one would ever guess this is guilt-free in any way. 
It's delicious!

Cake Mix + Fat-Free Liquid Egg Substitute
PER SERVING (1 piece, 1/12th of cake): 181 calories, 3.25g fat, 337mg 
sodium, 34.5g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 19.5g sugars, 3.5g protein --
POINTS® value 4*

One 18.25-oz. box moist-style cake mix
1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and add 1 cup water. Whisk 
thoroughly and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray;
 bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. 
(Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate bake time.)


Best Flavor: Egg sub is like the little black dress of cake companions; 
it goes well with everything.

The Texture: The first time we made this, we used only 1/4 cup of 
water; it was a little dry and dense, but it reminded us of pound cake, 
which isn't a bad thing. With a full cup of water, it came out light 
and fluffy. It had a more substantial, cake-like consistency than the 
applesauce and soda versions, but it wasn't quite as moist.

The Taste: Good! But it's not our favorite. That one's up next...
Cake Mix + Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
PER SERVING (1 piece, 1/12th of cake): 180 calories, 3.25g fat, 306mg 
sodium, 34.5g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 20g sugars, 3.5g protein -- 
POINTS®value 4*

Ingredients:One 18.25-oz. box moist-style cake mix
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (like Fage Total 0%)

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and add 1 cup water. Whisk 
thoroughly and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; 
bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. 
(Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate bake time.)


Best Flavor: Devil's food cake mix. Hands down.

The Texture: The word "velvety" comes to mind... Super moist and 
decadent! Kind of like a brownie-cake hybrid.

The Taste: YUMMY! Everyone who tried this loved it. There wasn't 
any yogurt taste at all... just pure cake-tastic deliciousness!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

5 Power Foods

The following snippet was sent to me from my health insurance company and they are big, big, big on eating healthy and moving more.  I thought it was a good piece and am therefore sharing it with you.  Oatmeal with blueberries, anyone?

from the editors of Healthy Cooking
The right foods can do so much more than satisfy hunger. Some foods are so powerful, they fuel our body, pack our diets with nutrients and protect our health.
Here are five power foods you can add to your diet today:
  1. Blueberries. These bright berries have cancer-fighting properties and can also help improve memory. An added bonus? They provide fiber and beta-carotene.
  2. Spinach. This leafy green is known to help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. And, the magnesium in spinach helps to lower high blood pressure.
  3. Oats. Known to decrease the risk of heart disease, oats also provide fiber and protein. Eating oatmeal on a regular basis may decrease insulin resistance and help stabilize blood sugar.
  4. Salmon. Salmon is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which studies have identified as the most beneficial of omega-3s. It also helps keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and triglycerides.
  5. Walnuts. Walnuts are the only nut with a significant amount of ellagic acid, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. They also help improve cholesterol.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pivotal time in life?

I know that most of my posts are about exercise, food, motivation, etc. and I don't often get into a lot of my personal life, but this week seems to have become a very pivotal time in my life so I feel compelled to write about it.  I knew all these events were coming and yet, I didn't realize until today how important they all really are.  

My oldest daughter, Lindsay, and her wonderful guy,  Andrew, got married on Saturday and it was beautiful and touching.  My son, Erich officiated and did a wonderful job.  Everything went smoothly with no problems on any front.  It was great, even the weather at this outdoor wedding in the park.  I am so very happy for them.

My youngest child, Kari, left Tuesday morning for Honduras.  She is so brave and amazingly adventuresome.  I admire that in her and wish I was stronger in that trait.  Who knows, perhaps I will become more so. 

My oldest child, Erich and his wife, KT, bought a house and had the closing this week.  They are now officially homeowners and as Erich puts it, "able to make the rules."  He grew up hearing, "When you live in our house you live by our rules; when you have your own house you get to make the rules."  He has proudly pointed out that now he (and KT) get to make the rules.  Ha!  I love that guy.

Wow what a week!  I've always considered that my job was to prepare my children for the future, to get them ready to leave home, and to live on their own.  They have been taking steps toward that all along and now, wow.  Huge steps for all of them and all within a four day window of time.

Now I plan to start focusing on new goals for me.  What will they be?

  • Spanish classes finally?  I've talked about becoming fluent for so long I'm sure no one will ever believe this one.  
  • Re-working a tight budget to travel to Honduras soon?
  • Start training for a fall marathon?  Do I want to do another full marathon or are half marathons a better fit?
  • I certainly have things like picture albums, etc. that I could do.  But I don't hear them calling me just yet.  

Hmmmmmm.  Seems it wasn't so long ago that I was thinking, "when I have time I want to..." and now I have time and none of the those things sound appealing any longer.  But I haven't decided just yet what DOES sound appealing.  Any suggestions?

Seems this is a pivotal week and I need to do some deep thinking.