Tag Archive: yogurt

All of us bloggers read our stats daily.

This is not a secret, we are all crazy enough to blog on a regular basis. And we want to know how many read our blathering each day. Then we want to know which blathering gets the most hits.

Vegetable stand slevinThe one post in my collection of over 400 blatherings that everyone seems to love is called The One Weird Secret to Losing Weight. Two and a half years ago I wrote about how hard I was trying to lose weight. At that time, I was being tempted by quick weight loss solutions that always included acai berried and a colon cleanser. There was hydroxy cut and whey powders and all sorts of things that were promising quick weight loss. Oh, and I was not going to have to change my eating habits.

At that time, I weighed over 200 pounds. I was snoring so loud, I woke myself up. I was having dizzy spells and sugar spikes that I felt emotionally. If that was not enough, I was growing out of my clothing. I pretended I was a size 16 when in reality I was an 18 or higher depending on the cut. While I would have loved quick fixes, I have not gone that route.

Instead, I have made lifestyle changes. And the results have paid off. My weight has gotten to the 180s. I am no longer snoring and the dizzy spells have disappeared. This took a couple of years to achieve. I made one change at a time.

First thing I did was set up a regular meal plan. This includes a sweet snack in the mid morning. Then I slowly began to change things. I restricted the amount of soda I drink, making it into a once-a-week treat.  Once that became a steady habit, I added whole wheat or multi-grain breads to my diet in my daily lunch sandwich. This forces the blood sugar to rise in a slower manner and keeps me happy.

Then I worked yogurt in the diet. The next change I worked in was to eat carrot sticks with my lunch and a salad or fruit with dinner. Here the raw veggies and fruit work as fiber while keeping the sugar from getting too high.  But there is another benefit. That fiber begans cleaning out my system naturally. Which meant some days, I needed to stay near a bathroom as my system cleaned out a lot of junk.

But there was one other change I made in my routine. I began walking with the dog every day.   I started at a half of a mile and worked up to one mile. Some days I make it over a mile and a half. The dog loves it. My feet usually feel better when I do the walk.

Image by Orchid

Image by Orchid

This means I am losing weight and inches. As my weight goes down so do the symptoms of diabetes. While I have some other health issues going on, I know that they are going to improve because my weight is less of an issue.

That is the end result of my battle with the weight. I hit my goal weight and lost the muffin top. While I have gained a few pounds back, I believe I will be able to get them off. I have fallen away from doing the daily walk and that makes it hard to keep weight off. So this week, I am getting back into the groove.

Oh, and I have stuck with the original plan of eating less and moving more. It works, it really works. If you are looking for the one weird secret to weight loss, that is the only one.

Move more, eat less.

Funny how simple that really is.


The real winter begins

Winter has arrived.

Snow scene

Saturday the snow fell and fell and fell.
It looked like  four or five inches by the time it was over. The kids are loving it. We have a small snowman in the back yard.
While I was inside church helping with the blood drive, my husband was watching as the kids go down the hill in their snow disks. At some point, snow went down someone’s back and there was crying and complaining.

Another snow scene

We got over that disruption to get into a warm car and head home. Hot showers, hot chocolate and pizza warmed the rest of the day.

Now starts indoor life. 

When the weather is warm, I feel the need to be outside every moment possible.  Once the snow and drop in temperature occurs, we are inside. Tasks, such as finishing the closet of doom and cleaning up of rooms, come to the forefront.

Another tradition of our family’s becomes even more important – that is the Sunday dinner. Every week, someone has a turn in making it. They choose the menu, find recipes, plan the purchases and cook it up. A parent helps the kid in charge or, in the case of the six-year-old, makes the meal.

Not as pretty as elly's but quite tasty with cinnamon and allspice in the meatball.

Last night, it was my turn and I made a greek meatball dish with rice and tomato sauce. It was a meal in which I has to make a variety of substitutions. The ground lamb was replaced by ground beef. Cloves of garlic became a limited amount of garlic powder.  Sour cream was used instead of greek yogurt and the rice was leftover white rice instead of basmati rice.

The recipe came from the wonderful cooking blog, Elly Says Opa. Her pictures are closer and probably shows of the dish better.  And I am not sure how she would appreciate what I did with it.

However, let me say that my kids ate it up. They loved the meatballs and rice; loved pouring the tomato sauce from a gravy boat. The touch of sour cream was a tasty addition as well. I was not thinking otherwise I would have served a traditional Greek salad with this meal. Instead, I had cranberry sauce on the side.

The next time I make this dish, I will more than likely bake the meatballs and have a fruit like pears on the side. And next time when I make cake with cherries on the inside, perhaps the cake will not fall apart when I take it out of the bundt pan.

It was a great evening that ended with a Wii bowling tournament and early to bed. When it is too cold, the best place to be is under the covers.

I did it. The button was there and I did it.

Picture by Doctor Bob

Just the other week, I was tempted to click on that button to tell me how to lose belly fat quickly and effortlessly.

Another promised to tell me the three foods that makes a belly grow instead of shrink. And in the tile was a beautiful plate of corn-on-the-cob.  So I did it. I directed my cursor over and clicked on it.

Bah!!! Just another 30 minutes of listening to a guy talk about his great program without giving away any details. No wait, I am wrong. He did give me the detail that his program was on sale for $39.99 and then I could find out how to turn my body into a fat-burning furnace.

There is no need for special foods or a diet or exercise. My body would lose weight once I knew the secret – his secret – to create a new me. And he talked about how all those other ‘diet’ plans only succeeded in stealing my money.

Like he isn’t trying to do the same thing with his phony little script.

I wonder if that plan works as well as the one that siphons off the fat because it cleanses your colon. Working with the acai berry, the colon cleanser performs miracles. I didn’t buy that one either. But someone else did who tried to have “The Fixer” from the Chicago Sun-Times get her money back. All she got was inches of paperwork telling her no refund was in sight.

In my quest to take inches off of my belly, I have searched articles for little tips and foods that could help in my quest. I have read many interesting but non-research based lists telling me and the world how to get rid of the bulge that makes me look as if I am pregnant when I am not.

And I do follow a couple of those crazy tips. I drink a 16 oz. bottle of cold water first thing in the morning. I found it in an article about getting a six-pack in a men’s magazine. The excuse may have that the body has to work hard to convert the cold water to body temperature.

What it does for me is to maintain a good amount of water going through and making sure I reach my goal of 64 oz per day.

Picture by Jeltovski

The other weird thing I do is … eat fresh fruits, 6 oz. of  yogurt and try for wheat bread whenever possible. That’s right, I am trying to eat healthy foods that are designed to naturally clean out the body.

 I am practicing moderation – not a gobblefest – everyday. After reading stories of people who lost the weight and kept it off I have come to realize it takes effort and will power to lose the weight.

Or – in the words of Julie Haddon – Eat Less and Move More.

There is no other explanation for the three inches I have recently lost from my tummy. There is no shakes or potions or whey powder in my diet. I can see my feet again. My measurements are now 37-43-43 which is on the good side. They used to be 40-48-45.

At some point I began reading stories about the connection between big bellies and diabetes and/or heart problems. One article stated your belly should measure no more than half your height.

That meant I needed to be nearly eight feet tall in order for my tummy fat to fit my body. At this point I need to find my way to just over seven feet of

Picture from realsimple.com

height. Sadly, I am no longer in the growing up stage of life. But the good news is after seeing those five inches disappear, three of them in the last few months,  I only need eight more to do likewise.

After my morning walk, please pass the fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt!

Slowly, ever so slowly the weight and my big tummy are going away.

This is not me but I hope to be closer to this level of skinniness someday. Picture by Clarita

I think I wrote some time ago that I walk every weekday in the mall. My goal was to get rid of the gut that was going to help me down the road to diabetes. So many stories on research showing the problems with a big belly made me realize it had to go.

So I started doing the sensible things. I read up on what foods help get rid of the belly, looked at what drinking more liquids and a good night’s sleep could do. And then I began to weed out what was crap. I am not falling for the acai berry or the total colon cleansing potions although I really want to do so.

I mean, who doesn’t want to lose the weight and the gut overnight.

The problem is none of that stuff ever goes away over night. I did not get a big belly over one day or one week’s worth of bad eating. It has taken years of bad habits to get there so it might take a while to get rid of all of this stuff.

Here is what is happening. I am noticing every month that my gut is shrinking. Clothes are starting to fall off of my hips. Pants that used to fit just fine require a belt. Skirts and dresses have started to go to the resale shop or being given away. Now I need to be buying new things that fit better.

This is the part in the ad where I tease you with the secret. On one blog I occasionally read, this is where the writer told you all about the magic product she is using.

I am using no magic product.

I have added more fresh fruit and yogurt to the diet. I eat a 6 oz. cup of yogurt as a mid-morning snack and fresh fruit with lunch and for an afternoon snack. I am trying to control my portions and make sure I have a protein source ever three or four hours. I make sure to drink at least 64 oz of liquid – coffee, green tea, water or ice tea but not soda – everyday.

Plus, I have maintained some sort of exercise. Now that school is out, I am only walking the dog in the afternoon. But our town is small enough that I can walk or bike to the grocery store. Sometimes the kids and I ride bikes in the evening after supper or I spend an hour in the garden.

Picture from barnesandnoble.com

What it boils down to is what Julie Hadden, 2nd place winner on Biggest Loser Season Four, says is the key.

Move more, eat less.

It sounds simple. But Julie knows where everyone of us has been and knows it is not. Sooner or later the only secret is move more, eat less. That is the only way to keep the calories from coming in and burning off the fat that is already there.

I read Julie’s book, Fat Chance, last year and was inspired by her story, inspired by her Christian walk. I was inspired by how everything got better for her once she began to appreciate life again and that included her walk with God. While she has a trainer and I do not, I take away her advice. I eat less and control my portions. I move more by walking to the store, parking farther away at a shopping center or doing active stuff with the kids. And it is working for me. This is working for me.

Don’t think that instant colon cleanser doesn’t still appeal. I just know better than to try it.

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.