Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 87—Fuel Your Workouts February 10, 2010

What should you eat and drink before, during and after your workout?

To make the most of your exercise efforts, you’ll want to properly fuel your body. Consuming the proper foods at the proper times will boost your immune system rather than drain it, and build muscle rather than break it down.

Before exercise: Eat a small (100-200 calories) high-carb snack about an hour before exercise. Good picks: fruit, or bread with jam. Do drink at least 8 ounces of water before your workout.

During exercise: No need to eat unless your workout exceeds an hour; then, a small snack such as a power bar. Stay hydrated by drinking 6–8 ounces of water per 15 minutes, or a sports drink if you exercise more than an hour.

After exercise: Include protein to rebuild muscle, at a carb-to-protein ratio of 3:1 (eg: peanut butter and an apple; yogurt and fruit; turkey on whole wheat bread). And rehydrate within an hour with 16-24 ounces of water.

 

Day 81—Dining Out: Healthy Choices February 4, 2010

It IS possible to find great-tasting, healthy restaurant meals.

Rush here, rush there—By the time your day is done, you’re exhausted and just want to … you know, “Have A Break Today!” and grab something to eat on the way home.

Take heart. You can give yourself a break, and still stay on your healthy eating plan. Here are a few healthy eat-out options:

Applebees: Offers low-point (Weight Watchers) choices in appetizer, dessert and entree categories.

Chili’s: Nutritional information for lower-fat Guiltless Grill selections are listed on the menu.

Jack in the Box: The chicken fajita pita has only 10 grams of fat. Without the shredded cheese it plummets to 3 grams.

Olive Garden: Offers whole wheat linguine, which has three times more fiber and about 17% fewer carbohydrates than traditional pasta.

Pizza Hut: Fit N Delicious Pizza, which contains less cheese and more sauce, contains as little as 3.5 g fat per slice.

Schlotzky’s:

  • Zesty albacore tuna wrap—311 calories, 7 g fat
  • Chinese chicken salad—127 calories, 3 g fat
  • Fresh fruit salad—123 calories, 1 g fat

Taco Bell: Ordering your entrée “fresco style” (salsa instead of cheese and sauce) cuts fat and calories by about 25%.

Wendy’s: Grilled chicken without the mayo contains just 310 calories and 8 grams of fat.

So on those nights when you just can’t stand the thought of cooking on top of everything else you’ve done all day, go ahead. Give yourself a break.  😉   Just take a minute to check your options and make a healthy choice.

 

Day 74—Healthy Pizza: NOT An Oxymoron January 27, 2010

Here's a healthy pizza recipe, compliments of my daughter Lauren.

It’s time for a great-tasting and healthy recipe. Feel free to make it your own by modifying ingredients to suit your tastes! And, feel free to comment and let everyone else in on your new secret recipes!

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

1 whole wheat Boboli pizza crust
1 tsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. minced garlic
spinach (fresh)
turkey pepperoni (about 40 pieces)
1 large tomato – diced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
crushed red pepper
Italian seasoning / basil / oregano (whichever you prefer)
* Preheat your pizza stone-I think the Boboli directions say 450 (check package to be sure). If you don’t have one, use a baking pan.
* While it’s preheating, brush EVOO all over top of crust
* Spread garlic evenly all over crust
* Cover entire crust with 1-2 layers of spinach leaves (depends on how much you like spinach & how much extra nutrition you want—I see no crust when I’m done with the spinach)
* Cover entire crust with turkey pepperoni—I literally have all pepperoni pieces touching from the edge of the crust to the middle—I want every ingredient in every bite. Just a personal issue, I guess 😉
* Spread/drop tomato evenly across pizza (no need for pizza sauce—the fresh tomato will make up for it)
* Evenly cover with mozzarella cheese
* Sprinkle crushed red pepper and/or Italian seasonings as desired
* Bake 8-10 minutes (according to package directions)

Here’s the nutritional info—Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 198.4
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 51.9 mg
Sodium 816.4 mg
Potassium 306.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Protein 18.0 g
 

Day 73—Free Money For Fitness

Are finances an obstacle to your health and fitness goals?

Some people (who shall remain nameless but whose initials are GOV) don’t seem to get the concept of living within your means. You can’t spend money you don’t have unless someone—you or your heirs, usually—pay back a whole lot more in interest.

Now I’ll step down off my soap box. But seriously, if your resources are stretched to the max, how do you invest in things like better nutrition, medical care, gym memberships and fitness equipment?

You may be able to redirect the dollars you already have. How, you say?

My friends at GMA outlined some steps that can keep more money in your pocket:

ENERGY—

1. Power down your rate. Check out alternative energy companies called Retail Energy Providers (REPs) that are allowed due to deregulation in some states. They may lock in a lower power rate for you (but be careful to check the reputation of any REP you consider).

2. Take back your taxes. Invest in energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, doors and windows  if yours need replacing (also included: insulation). There’s a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 in it for you through 2016, plus the possibility of state and utility company rebates.

CELL PHONE SERVICE—

1. Pick your plan wisely. Don’t pay for services you don’t need or use. You can track your talk time at overmyminutes.com .

2. Tap your boss. Participating in employer plans may get you a discount.

CABLE TV—

1. Secret service. Cable companies don’t advertise that they may offer below-basic service. “Lifeline” channels (2–14 only) come at a reduced rate if all you want are major networks and better reception.

2. Save a tree. Going paperless can save you as much as $1 per month on your bill.

3. Opt out. If you’re really determined, cancel your service altogether and use your Internet connection to watch your favorite shows.

You can watch the entire Elizabeth Leamy segment (it contains even more tips and related links) at http://abcnews.go.com/gma . Click on the Tuesday tab, then on Save Money On Your Household Expenses. Or enter the article name in the search box and hit Enter.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a few extra dollars to invest in your health? You’re sooo worth it!

 

Day 69—Senior Moments January 23, 2010

Alzheimer's? Or just Old Timers.

Sometimes I worry about being forgetful. What’s normal for my age, and what’s not?

Recently on a Good Morning America segment wit George Stephanopoulos, Dr. Oz said that the incidence of Alzheimer’s will triple in our lifetime, and we’ll all have—or know someone who has—the disease. He described it as power lines (our brain’s message system) that have been covered with sap, which inhibits their ability to transmit thoughts.

How can we prevent it? Some causes are hereditary, but some are influenced by lifestyle choices that can cut our chances for Alzheimer’s in half! He recommends eating a Mediterranean diet (olive oil, omega-3-rich fish and nuts, leafy green vegetables and berries), regular and vigorous exercise (there’s that brain/body connection again!), aspirin (anti-inflammatory), B-vitamins (which rebuild neuronal cables), and turmeric (a spice also referred to as curcumin). Note: The incidence of Alzheimer’s in India is just 1/4 of that in the U.S!

He also cited five warning signs that should serve as Alzheimer’s red flags:

1. (Your) memory loss is destructive to (your) life

2. (You) accuse people of stealing because really, (you) can’t remember where (you’ve) put something

3. (You) put things in unlikely or illogical places (eg: keys in the fridge)

4. (You) repeat questions over and over because (you) don’t remember asking or getting an answer

5. (You) make up new words for words (you) can’t remember

Do you like quizzes? Here are eight items. Read them once, then scroll this post so you can’t see them any more. Do something else, and after two minutes, try to recall the items. If you can remember 6-8 you’re a memory master. If you remember 4-5 your memory could use some work. And if you remember 3 or less, you have reason to worry:

House       Professor       Palm Tree       Teddy Bear      Beach       Pasta       Nun       Cigar

To listen to Dr. Oz’s segment, visit http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HealthyLiving/dr-ozs-warning-signs-alzheimers-disease/story?id=9618672 .

‘Til tomorrow, stay confident and resolute! Now where did I put those earrings…?

 

Day 67—Puttin’ On The Gloves January 21, 2010

Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig battle it out in court

Weight Watchers is fighting mad at diet rival Jenny Craig. They claim that JC’s TV commercial showing actress Valerie Bertinelli stripping off her lab coat to reveal a svelte body—and claiming that the JC program produces twice the weight loss that WW does—are “patently deceptive,” to quote WW’s David Kirchoff.

WW claims JC compared a current study of JC results with a 10-year-old study of WW results. They may have a valid case, as a judge has granted a temporary restraining order barring further airing of the ad until the false advertising lawsuit is settled.

What are the differences between the two programs? Jenny Craig relies on sales of prepackaged meals; Weight Watchers teaches lifestyle change, promotes group support and uses a point system to quantify food intake.

Regardless of the ad’s contents, do you have experience that favors one program or the other? Share your thoughts!

 

Day 61—Vitamins Vs. Victuals January 15, 2010

Be your own judge of whether supplements benefit you.

“If I don’t eat all the nutrients I should,” you say to yourself, “this multi-vitamin will pick up the slack.”

Well, it probably will. But if you’re already eating what your body needs—or easily could with a pittance of effort, that money may be better spent on nutritional foods. One reason: In addition to nutrition, foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables also provide fiber that’s essential to our digestive health.

The American Dietetic Association advises that the best thing you can do for your nutrition is to choose and eat a wide variety of healthy foods. That hardly seems like “news.” But sometimes the most obvious is the least considered.

To read the ADA’s entire position paper, visit http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2009/12/09/Dietitians-Most-dont-need-supplements/UPI-51011260384749/

If you know you need the vitamins, by all means take them. But ask yourself: What will bring me more pleasure and health—a hard, tasteless pill? Or a crisp, juicy apple!