Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Rage Over Fage

Ok, so for awhile now I've been hearing bits and pieces about this Greek yogurt called "Fage". I like yogurt, but I can't say I LOVE yogurt by any means. My curiosity got the best of me though, so I decided I had to try it. I called around to a few different stores in my area (none of the regular grocery stores carried it, nor did my Trader Joe's). I did end up finding it at a higher end grocery store, so I set out to pick some up. Let me say, I've never in my life paid $1.59 for a 5 oz. container of yogurt, but I went ahead and did it just so I could try it and write this review. I picked up a container of the 0% and a container of the 2% to compare.

I've read mixed reviews on various blogs about Fage yogurt lately. Jennette a.k.a. PastaQueen over at Half Of Me wrote a review and basically said it tasted like diaper rash cream. Of course as soon as I took the lid off of my container of Fage Total 0%, stirred it around and took a bite, that was the thought that popped into my head. LOL! It doesn't actually taste like diaper rash cream to me (not that I've ever eaten diaper rash cream and if I had, I wouldn't admit it), but the consistency is kinda like it since it's thicker than other fat free yogurts. It's also creamier than other yogurts.

I do have to agree with Jennette on one thing though, Fage isn't sweet. In fact, it kinda reminded me of sour cream or a really mild tart tasting cheese. The normal thing that I do with plain or vanilla yogurt usually is to add Splenda and some PB2 powder, so I did that. It helped a lot. I opened up the 2% container of yogurt and it pretty much looked like it had the same consistency as the 0% yogurt. It might have been a little creamier, but honestly I really couldn't tell much of a difference. Fage sells a yogurt with honey, so I decided to add some cinnamon and honey to this container of yogurt. I'm not a honey fan, but I figured Rick would eat it (he's my guinea pig) LOL! I mixed it up and tasted it.... pretty good. I didn't eat both though, he at the 2% with honey and I ate the 0% with PB2.

Bottom line... yes, this yogurt is thicker and creamier than other yogurts, but the cost is a killer in my opinion. It's all natural, so that's good too. I'm also sure it's much tastier used as a sour cream substitute or as a base for a dip, but unless they brought the cost down below $1, I probably wouldn't buy it again. Now if you love plain yogurt with a tart taste, you want something that's natural and you have money to burn, I say go for it. :) I've seen a Greek yogurt at Trader Joe's, so maybe the next time I'm there, I'll see what that's all about and compare. I'm sure it's cheaper anyway. Hey, maybe if I ever start loving yogurt, I'll just make my own. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sorry Guys

I'm sorry that I haven't posted lately. I've just been really busy (trying to find a full time job to go along with my current full time job). I'll be back to post soon. Don't forget about me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Catching Up

Sorry I've been absent for most of this week. I've been super busy. Let me get you caught up real quick....

I'm doing pretty good on my fat march challenge. I've covered 29 miles in 10 days. I still haven't gotten out on my Trikke yet, but Saturday is supposed to be much cooler, so maybe I can go out then and see if I can still do it. :)

I weighed in yesterday morning and I was up another .4 pounds for the week. I was hoping for a loss, but I guess I can't complain since I started adding more carbs into my eating plan (I'm still not eating bread, potatoes or dessert). But I have added brown rice and beans, along with more veggies and fruit. I think by cutting stuff out for 2 months (especially empty calorie, energy sucking desserts), it's helped me to be more aware of portions and when to know if I'm hungry or not. I no longer over eat any one certain food group. When I eat something, it's just 1 serving and no more (which is plenty for me). I'm still loving Core! I've never felt better or more energized! I was abusing desserts something terrible a few months ago (because I had the points). Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the Flex plan, but when you're like me and abuse the crap out of how the points get spent each day, it's not really a healthy way of eating. With Core, I don't have to worry about points. I do use some of my flex points each week, but it's not on desserts. It's on things like bacon bits and lite laughing cow cheese for my omelet in the morning.

I tried a couple of new recipes today. Here they are:

Mexicale Casserole

1 Pound Extra Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Green Pepper, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 (15 oz.) Can Dark Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
1 Cup Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded (divided)
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, add the beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until the meat is brown and the vegetables are tender. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in the beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, milk and egg substitute. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the beef mixture into the dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until liquid is no longer runny. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top as soon as you pull it out of the oven. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with salsa and fat free sour cream if desired.

Serves: 6
Per Serving: 381 Calories; 16g Fat (38.4% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 540mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat. WWP: 8 (www.AimeesAdventures.com)

Fried Banana (thanks to Linda for this one)

1 Medium Banana
2 teaspoons Healthy Oil (I used Canola)
Cinnamon (optional)
1 Packet Splenda (optional)

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat (just slightly under medium). Cut the banana in half each way so that you end up with 4 pieces (or you can slice into rounds). Pick up the skillet and swirl the oil to evenly coat the pan. Add the banana. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon if desired. Cook on each side until browned (how brown you like it is up to you). Sprinkle with Splenda if desired. You can top with a little fat free cool whip if you like, but be sure to count the points.

Serves: 1
Per Serving: 193 Calories; 10g Fat (42.2% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Fruit; 2 Fat.
WWP: 4 (www.AimeesAdventures.com)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Things I Love

I was going to blog today about the dinner theatre we went to with my parents last night, but I figured you probably don't really want to hear about that anyway. :) Basically we ate (I did really good) and then we watched them perform The Wizard of Oz. It was good, the kids (who were the munchkins) were cute, and the dog (who kept trying to bite any of the characters who moved too fast and then he was stealing treats) was hillarious! Nuff said! :)

Oh and I've now covered 23 miles of my 200 mile fat march challenge. 12 of those miles were today at the gym (2 miles on the treadmill and 10 miles on the stationary bike). I didn't really plan on riding the bike that long, but they had a good movie playing and I wanted to see how it ended. LOL!

I was reading Krissie's blog a few minutes ago and saw that I've been tagged to list what I love about 10 certain things. The original tag going around was to list 10 things people hate, but I agree with Krissie and I'd rather list the things I love. So here it goes....

Food: I love most anything Mexican! I also love ice cream, but Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream is awesome!

Fruit: I'm not a huge fan of fruit, but when I do eat it, I like apples, grapes, strawberries and watermelon. I actually didn't like strawberries until just a couple of years ago, but now, give me some cut up with some Splenda and a little bit of fat free cool whip and I'm doing the happy dance. LOL!

Veggies: Honestly, I'm even less of a fan of veggies than I am of fruit. But... I do eat them (I chop them small and disguise them in soups and sauces). Corn is my absolute favorite (although some people can argue that corn is a fruit because it comes from the reproductive part of the plant, or a grain when it's dried, but I still say it's a vegetable)! I LOVE the stuff! On the cob, creamed, from a can, made into cornmeal, or popped. LOL! I'm also learning to like broccoli, though I still need it chopped up small and it has to be in something (cheese sauce helps). I can't eat it by itself just yet. :)

Celebrity/People: I like Ellen Degeneres. She seems like she'd be a really fun person to hang out with. Her humor seems to just come natural and I think that's cool. :) Drew Barrymore seems to have a good personality too. I also think Adam Sandler would be fun to hang out with.

Event/Situation/Incident: Amusement parks are always fun. I like traveling (although I don't get to go often) because you get to see new things and meet new people.

TV Shows/Movies: Hmmm, I could be on this question for quite some time listing all of my favorite shows and movies, but I'll narrow it down to just one each... For TV shows I guess I'd have to say Desperate Housewives. You just never know what they're going to do each week. :) And for movies, it's What Dreams May Come. Here's a little clip of the movie in case you've never heard of it:

Music: This is another tough one. I'll just go with a general choice and say I like 80's music the most. :) I'm listening to flashbackradio.com right now.

Household Chores: I can honestly say I don't like doing any chore, but I don't mind vacuuming. :)

Around the World: I love to listen to the different languages and accents. :)

About Myself: I love that I can look at things with more than 1 perspective and then make a decision without jumping right in. I love that I work hard, I'm good at what I do and I love what I do (even thought it doesn't pay very well). I love that I don't take myself seriously too often and that I can make others laugh when they need it the most.

I am now tagging: Anyone who would like to share a bit about what they love.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

11 Miles Down, 189 To Go

I've gone to the gym two days in a row now (thanks to Linda convincing me to go). I have to admit, I don't want to go, and I procrastinate for a few hours before I decide I really should go. LOL! But once I'm there, it's not so bad and after I'm done, I'm glad I went. Yesterday I went and just walked 2 miles on the treadmill. Today I went with the intention of walking 3 miles on the treadmill (because I wanted to catch up with Linda who has already covered 8 miles and I was still at 5 miles). LOL!

Anyway, I got there, hopped on the treadmill and began. I covered 1 mile with no problem, but when that 2nd mile rolled around, I thought I was going to die from boredom! If they hadn't been showing a movie at the same time, I might have been tempted to hop off. You have to understand, I'm not the type of person who really does traditional type exercises. I like to get outside and either hike, bike or Trikke. It's just too hot out to do that right now. If I have to exercise inside, it usually either involves Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds videos, or my Playstation 2 with DDR or Kinetics.

So here I am, walking on the treadmill, glancing down at the distance button every 5 sections wishing it would hurry up. At one point I even increased the speed, but soon realized my feet couldn't keep up unless I wanted to jog (which I didn't and can't anyway). I kept going and trying to stay interested in the movie (it was an ok movie, nothing spectacular, but I didn't see it from the beginning either, so maybe I missed some really good parts. It was called Scoop). When I had almost completed 2 miles on the treadmill, the other two people working out in the room left, so it was just me. I thought, hmmm, maybe for the last mile I could try out the elliptical machine since nobody was in the room. As soon as the treadmill hit the 2 mile mark, I hopped off of it and found my way to the back of the room where the elliptical machines were (remember, the room is dark). I found the one I wanted (bumped my knee trying to get on it), and I lasted for about a minute. LOL! I felt like my legs were going to give out from under me and I didn't need anyone coming in and finding me on the floor. LOL! I thought, darn, well I don't want to get back on the treadmill! Then I figured, what the heck, I'll get on the bike, ride my last mile and then go home.

After I figured out how to adjust the seat so my feet would reach the pedals (must have been a guy on it before me), I started off on my mile. I was surprised at how fast a mile went by on a bike (hey, it's been awhile since I've done this, so stop laughing). :) When the first mile was up, I thought, maybe I can do another mile. Then I did another. Before I knew it, I had done 4 miles. I was like, hey, I'm liking this. LOL! I was tired though and my legs felt like rubber, so I decided 4 miles was enough for the day (6 miles total with the walking). New people had come into the room when I was still on my first mile, so when I was ready to leave, I stood there for a minute and had some water to drink because I was afraid if I walked across the room, I'd either fall over, or I'd walk like I was drunk. LOL! I just walked slowly and made my way out. :) I'm hoping to have time to go back tomorrow, but I have plans later in the afternoon, so if I can't get there early, I'll have to skip tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Cheating Checklist

What’s the biggest cause of diet failure? Cheating on your diet, of course. Everyone does it at one point or another along the way. You most likely can’t avoid it completely. It’s hard to be perfect. What you can do is lessen the number of times you cheat. Keep it to a minimum. The more you can stay on your diet, the more weight you’ll lose.

An effective way to stall a cheat in its tracks is to stop and think. This is possibly the most powerful technique you’ll ever find. It just takes some questioning, some considering, before you go ahead and plunge into those cookies and chips. Challenge yourself. See how flexible you can be. You don’t need to do what you’ve always done. You can use your powers of thinking before you go ahead and cheat, thus avoiding any self-recriminations and a possible reversal of your weight-loss progress.

Here is a checklist of questions that will steer you to the right kind of thinking. Use this list the next time you feel like cheating on your diet, before you actually do it. You can still cheat if you want to―that’s always up to you. But once you answer these questions, even if you go ahead and cheat, it will be more of a real choice rather than just an automatic reflex.

  1. Am I still committed to losing weight?
  2. What will the benefits to my life be when I reach my weight loss goal?
  3. Do I believe in my ability to stick to my diet?
  4. If not, why not?
  5. What are the strengths I possess that can help me stick to my diet right now?
  6. Am I feeling very stressed out?
  7. If so, can I handle the stress in some other way?
  8. Am I tired?
  9. If so, can I take some time out to rest?
  10. Am I feeling overwhelmed?
  11. If so, can I put off taking care of a few things until I feel more capable?
  12. If I break my diet at this moment, will I feel better or worse?
  13. If I cheat on my diet now, will I be able to get back on it?
  14. Am I afraid to lose weight?
  15. If so, what am I afraid of?
  16. What do I truly need right now?
  17. Will eating off my diet plan give me what I need right now?
  18. If not, how can I get what I need?
  19. What would the people close to me think of me if I cheat now?
  20. What will I think of myself if I cheat now?

If you have a problem with food and weight, you’ve probably trained yourself to turn to food at certain times. By now, it is probably a totally automatic response. Use this checklist to retrain yourself. It will help you let go of your bad food habits. Make sure this list is always handy. Make your dream of losing the weight once and for all come true.

©2007 Maria's Last Diet. Maria’s Last Diet is an online weight loss support website for women. At Maria’s Last Diet, you’ll find the tools to fix the thoughts, feelings, and automatic habits that fight against you when you diet. Because it’s never just about the food. Visit www.mariaslastdiet.com for more diet tips and weight loss motivation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

3 Miles Into My Walking

Well, so far so good on the walking (for me). Last night around 10:00, I took my dog Riley for a walk around our apartment complex. We walked just over a mile total, which is 4 times around. It was hot, but not bad. The last time around, Riley must have had enough, because when he saw our door, he started pulling in that direction. I think he was afraid I was going to make him go around again. LOL!

This morning we got up and I decided that I'd take us for another walk, but this time we'd go into the neighborhood behind our apartment complex. The plan was to just walk a mile and get back before it got REALLY hot out (it was already hot, but not sizzling). Well, dumb me forgot the name of the street I was supposed to turn down, so we ended up walking almost 2 miles. I know, 2 miles isn't really that far, but when the heat index is around 90 degrees, it's humid, and the last mile is mostly up hill, it's freakin' hot! I don't know how I missed the street, but I'm guessing it's because I remembered when I walked it once last year, that it was a 1 way street that had trees down the middle. I kept going looking for that street, thinking maybe it was the next street. Turns out, if I had made the turn I was supposed to make, I would have eventually come across that street, but since I didn't make that first turn, I ended up walking parallel to where I should have been and it didn't really know it. Since I kept going, I ended up on a busy street (thankfully there were sidewalks in all but one place). Poor Riley was hot and tired. At one point he just laid down in the grass and wouldn't budge. I had to pick him up and carry him until we got back to our complex (at that point I put him down and told him he didn't have a choice, that he was just going to have to walk the rest of the way because I was burning up). We were both soooo glad to walk back in the front door where the cool air greeted us. I took him directly to his water bowl and made sure he got a drink, then I headed out to the kitchen and had a couple of glasses of water myself. :) Here's an image of the path that we walked...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fat March

The TV Show called Fat March starts tonight on ABC. Will you be watching? I've got my DVR all set up to record it. :) These people are going to walk over 500 miles in just 10 weeks in an attempt to lose weight and earn money and other prizes. That's a lot of walking!

I'm starting a new challenge kinda of based on the Fat March. I'm not looking to walk 500 miles in 10 weeks, but I want to set up my own challenge and change it up a bit. I want to strive for 100 miles in 10 weeks, but these miles can be not only walking, but anything like: jogging, bike riding, roller blading, golfing (walking the course, not riding in a cart), etc. Whatever you can do and still log your miles (other than driving or using motorized means of transportation), then it's allowed. I'll probably be doing a combination of walking and Trikking, and as Krissie mentioned in the comments, "Walk Away The Pounds" videos (since they're marked by the mile, they'll be easy to count).

Would any of you like to join me? You can decide what you want to do, and how many miles you'd like to set for your goal. Like I said, my goal is 200 miles in 10 weeks. That's basically 4 miles per day, 5 days per week (I think we all need a few days rest each week, but you're more than welcome to do more). I'm just trying to stay realistic. I know that if I'm barely exercising now, then I'm not going to be able to go out and walk 10 miles per day. 4 miles will be a challenge enough for me, especially in the beginning. I might end up doing 2 miles, twice in a day. Hey, it all adds up right? :)

If you'd like to join in, come over to my message board and sign up (it's free). Then click on the "Challenges" link and post your info.

If it's too hot outside to exercise, try exercising at night. If you can't exercise at night, exercise early in the morning. If those don't work, go to your local mall and walk around there in the air conditioning. Hit the treadmill, etc. There are always ways to do something if you really want to do it.

Here are a few neat links that might be of some help:

This first one is called Walk Score. It tells you how walkable your area is. You can pick a destination and it will tell you how the path rates. Like lets say you want to walk from your house to the bank, or to the grocery store, etc. It lets you know how do-able it is. I checked some of the stuff around where I live, and it pretty much suggested that I should drive instead of walk. LOL!

This next one is my favorite. It's called Map My Run. No, you don't have to run, you can just walk. LOL! You can actually mark out your walk and find out the distance. I tested it out by starting at my house, then making dots up and down some of the streets and then back to my house. Now you don't have to get into the car and drive the path to find out how far it is. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Vietnam Memorial Wall

Rick and I stopped off to see the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall this morning (it's being displayed at a park here in Franklin for the weekend). The wall is an 80% size replica standing over 8’ tall, and over 370 feet long. I've never been to see the full sized wall in Washington D.C., so I thought it would be nice to stop and see the traveling wall. If you'd like to see how the wall is constructed, here is a video I found.

A couple of facts about the full sized wall in Washington D.C.:

  • Each of the walls is 246.75 feet long, composed of 70 separate inscribed granite panels, plus 4 at the end without names; the panels themselves are 40 inches in width; the largest panels have 137 lines of names, while the shortest have one; there are five names on each line, although with new additions of names, some lines now have six; the walls are supported by 140 concrete pilings driven approximately 35 feet (some are at 20 feet) to bedrock; at the vertex the walls are 10.1 feet in height.
  • With the addition of three names added in 2007 the total is now 58,256 names listed on the Memorial. Approximately 1200 of these are listed as missing (MIA's, POW's, and others).
Here are some pictures I took:

Click on the image to read what the sign says.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Past And The Future

I got to chat with my best friend Wendy tonight (we've known each other since we were 4 years old). We both live rather busy lives and don't get to talk very often, so I was really happy to get to talk to her and catch up with what's going on in her life. She's probably the only person who knows just about everything there is to know about me. It was nice to have a good laugh. :) I get to see her like once every two years or so (usually when she comes up here to from Texas to visit her family), so we act like fools and have a good old time remembering some of the stuff we did as kids. LOL! There's a chance that maybe she'll be able to come up next Spring, so I'm excited about that. I'm also hoping to be much skinnier if not at goal the next time she comes to visit. :) The last time she was up here, I had to go out of town so I missed her. :(

It's funny how when we're younger we see our adult lives being so much different than they are when it really happens (at least this is how it has been for me). Like for instance, when we were younger, Wendy and I had it all planned out that we would live next door to each other and we'd both have kids who were friends with each other. I'd be a music teacher and she'd be a chef (although I did take music in college for awhile and she has gone to culinary school). She was a much better cook than me and actually taught me how to make a cake from scratch when we were in high school. I can't really say that's what got me cooking though. LOL! Now here we are some 15-16 years later, we don't live next door to each other, don't have kids, she's a budget analyst (always working her way up the ladder... you go girl!) and well... you already know what I do. LOL! If anyone would have ever told me back then that this is how it would be now, I would have been like "shut up, nuh uh" LOL!

Anyway, that's just something that I got to thinking about tonight. And although what I had planned out in my head many years ago didn't actually happen, I can honestly say I'm happy with what I do now. I'm not teaching kids how to play instruments, but I'm motivating people to lose weight and better their lives (hopefully that's what you get from my website anyway). LOL!

I may not be able to predict the future, but I have hopes and dreams for the years to come. Even if those hopes and dreams don't turn out exactly the way I've envisioned them, I'm excited to follow the journey and see what happens.

I'm curious... what did you see yourself doing as an adult when you were younger, and how does that compare to what your life is like now? Did it turn out the way you thought it would?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Down 34.6 Pounds

I can't believe it's August already. Where does the time go? I think I'm still back in like March or April. Thank goodness for the calendar in front of me, or I'd be all messed up. LOL!

I weighed in this morning and was down 1.2 pounds. I was just shy of making the 35 pound mark, but I'll make it next week for sure if all goes as planned. :)

Krissie was brave enough to take a picture of her weight on the scale yesterday, so this morning I thought I'd do the same. I tried taking several pictures, but not only couldn't I get a good picture to turn out (my scale is glass with shiny metal around the read out, so the flash kept making a big blob of light on the number), but the camera added over a pound to my weight. So... I decided to make my own animated scale to show my weight each week (hey, I wasn't going to show you my ugly feet anyway) LOL! By doing it this way, I also got to start from the beginning of my weight loss. :) The weights are my official WW weekly weigh in weights. If I used my home weights, it would say I weighed 245.9 instead of 247.8 (that's the difference between my scale and the WW scale). Maybe I should just start weighing at home instead and save my $40 per month? Just kidding, been there and done that. It didn't work out very well for me. I need to go to the meetings and be accountable. Ok, here's the animated scale I made. Talk to you tomorrow. :)