Monday, September 29, 2008

I have a new blog!

I've decided to begin a new blog dedicated to healthy eating and my weight loss goals! It is called One Tidbit at a Time. You can click on the link or type in in order to access it. This way I can focus on family events for this blog. I hope you will check out the new blog just to see if it interests you. Otherwise, I plan on posting more family happenings soon such as the Wasatch Reptile Expo that our family had a booth at. There will be plenty of pictures of snakes and even one of me holding a tarantula! (Just in time for Halloween!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saving Money While Eating Healthy

This post is in response to a comment from a friend in the last "Wednesday Weigh In". My friend Ann commented how expensive it is while trying to eat healthy. I found that at first it is expensive to eat healthier because I tried so many new recipes and bought low-fat butters and margarine's that slim fast recommended. I also bought slim fast bars and drinks while I was still buying junk food for the family. Since I've been doing this now for about 2 months, I have more of a routine and the family is on board now so I buy less junk and more healthy crackers etc. I still like to buy the slim fast bars because they are so good and give me a chocolate fix without all of the calories.

One expensive thing that was in most of my new recipes was peppers- green, red, yellow and orange. I tried to find the cheapest place to buy peppers in bulk (Sam's Club)and then cut them up and froze them. This saves me money and time in the kitchen. I cut the peppers into four or more pieces after taking out the seeds. Then stick'em in a plastic Ziploc bag and freeze. I buy only garlic in the clove and as a whole bud. I found out that by buying the previously peeled garlic, it goes bad faster. I am lucky that our garden is growing tons of tomatoes right now so I don't buy those.

Lettuce was always a part of our diet but I try to buy the whole heads because you get more for your money. I can see if you are single though, it would be wasted faster so for you it probably is better to buy it bagged. My personal favorite lettuce combo is l head of each of these- Romaine, red leaf and green leaf. I don't buy iceberg since it is mainly a filler without much nutritional value.

The most expensive part of switching to healthier eating is buying the spices that help to flavor the foods. With less fat, it needs more flavor since fat is what gives most foods flavor. If I was on a really strict budget, I would buy only one new spice or seasoning a week(or month) and then make due with pepper and other already bought seasonings. I recommend cumin because of its stimulant properties it helps with appetite. Click on the link to understand the word stimulant when talking about food and drugs. It doesn't "increase" your appetite like in the word stimulate, it suppresses your appetite. In our society, cumin is used in currys, chili powder, taco seasonings etc. In researching cumin I found an awesome blog about spices and foods. Click here to go to it.

My last suggestion is to try out Mrs. Dash seasonings. In my previous Wednesday Weigh In, I mentioned a friend of mine that is a body builder. One day when we were visiting his house he was cooking some fish in a pan on the stove. He was preparing for an upcoming competition and had a very strict diet to stick to. I asked about the seasonings he was using and he said Mrs. Dash because it is MSG free, salt free and had great spices in it. I then checked it out at our local Walmart and was very surprised with the number of combinations you could choose from. From a good chicken grilling seasoning to a barbecue seasoning, to a yummy lemon pepper seasoning. You should also make sure your seasonings are low in salt because we all tend to get too much salt in our diet. It makes our bodies hold onto too much water which makes our weight loss seem less. I think I will need to do a post on MSG as I learn more about it. I seem to have a reaction to it that I need to watch. Look for that in the future!

With all of this food info and weight-loss talk, maybe I should start a second blog and keep this blog dedicated to family. What do you think? PS- did you notice I looked up html and found out how to separate my paragraphs? Yea!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tyler's Ordination

Tyler turned twelve earlier this month as you know. In our religion, when a boy turns twelve, he can receive the priesthood and be ordained a Deacon. Tyler wanted to be ordained and has been living the commandments as best as he can. So on September 14th, he was ordained a Deacon by his Grandpa in our Bishops office surrounded by family and other Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons. It was exciting for him and he couldn't wait to exercise his priesthood by passing the sacrament at church. Sydney, Tyler, me (Julie) and Dallin after Church. Ryan dislikes having his picture taken but by the time we had gotten around to taking pictures, he was already upstairs taking a nap! That's a good way to get out of pictures!

My brother Randy, Tyler and Grandpa.

Tyler with Grandma and Grandpa.

Back row: Randy holding his daughter Morgan, Tyler, and Katie. In the front row: Micah and Mc Kenzie.

My sister Kristi with Tyler.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In

I beat my goal for this week! I lost a half a pound beyond what I had planned. During the previous week I ate quite a bit while my family was here. This current week I focused on loosing the pounds I had gained so that I could be back at 174 lbs. Yesterday morning I had hit my target weight for the week and then today I weighed in at 173.5- the lowest I've seen my digital scale at for a few months! Last Wednesday I weighed in at 177 lbs, so I lost 4 pounds this week! Maybe most of that weight was from my body just holding on to the fatty food I had consumed. I seemed really sluggish in my digestive system last week. I notice that as I eat healthier, my body regulates itself better and I don't get nearly the same amount of stomach pains/problems. Ryan has a friend that is a body builder and when he was over one day I told him about my weight loss plans. Now, to fully understand and appreciate what this person told me, you have to understand his background. He was quite overweight and lost 60 lbs in 90 days (not recommended) and has kept it off by exercising with a passion- as only body builders can. Seriously, this man will work out for 4-5 hours a day in order to prepare for a competition. Anyway, this man told me that one of the fastest ways for a person with my build and height to lose weight would be to do this: For breakfast, eat one whole egg and seven egg whites for breakfast. Cook them as I please, but stick to the egg whites since they are more healthy. For a snack, eat protein that is lean such as turkey or fish(tilapia) and avoid any sugar. For lunch, eat more protein such as turkey, and limit breads to 2 slices a day. Make sure to snack on more protein such as nuts (peanuts, almonds) and beans. For dinner- I forgot what he said :) I'm sure it consisted of more fish, etc. Now, you are probably thinking- "Whoa, what a huge diet change" but in reality, it's not that bad. I didn't try the egg breakfast idea until today because I was afraid that the flavor would be very plain and I don't like egg substitutes which is mainly egg whites. I put in the whole egg (yolk and white) and then added seven egg whites. I made sure to put a generous portion of pepper in the mixture and a little salt for flavor. I was surprised with the result! It was very good and the pepper added the right amount of seasoning. I was actually surprised how big the pile of eggs was and I ate it up. Afterwards, I felt very full and the feeling stayed for a couple of hours. I have since did a little research on eggs this afternoon and found some great facts. The has some great facts and information. I found out that because the egg has such high quality protein, it aides in helping you to feel full longer. This same protein helps support fetal development in pregnant women. They also have choline and folic acid in them which are very important for pregnant moms. For those of you suffering from anemia which is a deficiency of iron in your blood, the iron in eggs is "a healthy mixture of heme and non-heme iron" that is "particularly well absorbed". Well, I need to go pick up my kids from school now. I hope this little info helps someone in their life with learning to eat healthier!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In (better late than never!)

I was a bad girl this week :) My parents came from Oregon last Thursday and we have been celebrating everyone's birthdays since then. We've had cake (ice cream and regular), pizza from Little Caesers, We ate at the Asian Buffet one night and another night my Mom made a wonderful lasagna. Yumm! Who doesn't like Mom's homemade lasagna?! As you can see, I wasn't eating very low-fat. I didn't loose weight this past week- I gained it :( I am now getting back on track and hope to be down to 174 lbs again by Wednesday and then even further the following week. What amazes me is how I ate fairly healthy in the mornings and afternoons this past week but having a big dinner and then adding cake to the mix gives me way too many calories! Before I started changing my eating habits a couple of months ago, I was eating unhealthy all day long. No wonder I am having to lose weight! I am really needing to stop cheating so much if I am to lose over thirty more pounds. This is taking forever at the rate I am going. But I know I am more healthy over all. I just need to be more patient and stop the cheating! Wish me luck!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tyler's 12th Birthday

This year for Tyler's birthday we decided to have a smaller, mostly family party. He was able to invite his two best friends to celebrate with us!

This picture above really shows how big Tyler is getting. His arms are as long as mine and he is only a couple of inches shorter. His feet though are bigger than mine! I've gone to the growth charts online and looked at his projected growth pattern based on his past growth. He is expected to be 6 feet tall as an adult! Sydney who has always been very tall for her age is projected to be 5' 8". I wouldn't doubt that! Dallin is much more petite since being a premie but I haven't checked out his projected height. I think it is a little early to tell since he has less than two years of growing "experience".

The next photo is of Tyler and one of his friends using the new nerf guns that he got for his birthday.

Tyler's two best friends.

We had a great time celebrating Tyler's birthday. He is growing up so fast! We love you Tyler!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Morning rays

We've been busy preserving.....

Ryan and I have been busy canning plum jam and shredding zucchini as well as cooking pumpkin for future pies. On Saturday we picked the shiro plums and peeled and pitted them. Then we made the jam with the flesh. It is yummy and tastes like fruit roll ups. Actually, Ryan did most of the work of peeling the plums and sterilizing the jars while I was running around trying to find more jars and a food mill. I found a good one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $50. It pitts the fruit and you can choose the texture by selecting different discs. Who doesn't love getting a new kitchen gadget?! I shredded the zucchini on Monday and put four cups of it to a quart sized bag. I freeze it and use it to make zucchini bread. Our tradition is to give out small loaves of zucchini bread at Christmas to our neighbors. Each of the eight bags of zucchini will make four large loafs or 12 small loafs. That means I have enough to make 96 small loafs of bread if I wanted too. I also took our pumpkins and peeled and cooked the flesh. Then I mashed it and put it into freezer containers. I filled five of those containers with 4 cups of pumpkin. Each container will make 2 pies so I have enough to make 10 pumpkin pies! Sydney loves pumpkin pie! Later I will have to get a picture of the pie at Thanksgiving and Zucchini bread at Christmas! This is the first year that we have been serious about preserving the plums so don't think this is a regular occurrence. It is also the first year I have cooked pumpkin for pies. The zucchini I have been freezing for several years now- that's why it is a tradition for us to give away the bread!

Wednesday Weigh In

I lost 2 more pounds according to my scale on Monday! That put me at 174 lbs! Of course this morning the scale said 176 lbs- so it fluctuates from day to day. But still, it has been quite a while since I was down to 174! Monday was Tyler's 12th birthday and so I had pizza, cake and ice cream and I had another piece of cake on Tuesday- gotta love leftover cake! Thankfully the cake is gone and I don't desire to eat ice cream. I really do love to drink milk and that has been hard to cut back on. Well, I don't really have a whole lot to talk about diet wise but I have been taking a lot of pictures for future posts. Stay tuned for photos of Tyler's birthday and other family happenings.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Children's Art

I recently ordered this tabletop easel and paints for my daycare. I had a grant that I was able to use towards supplies and toys. It finally came last week and so Sydney and a six-year old that I watch had a great time using them. Here are some of the creations that came from it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In

I didn't loose any weight this week :( It doesn't surprise me since I fudged a little everyday. I am still eating waaaay healthier than I used to. Even though I didn't loose any weight this week, I still want to keep with the good eating habits that I am forming. It takes a long time to become satisfied with the amount of food that I am supposed to eat verses what I like to eat. For some reason I always associated feeling "full" with well-being. This week I have another sore throat for some reason and I keep feeling like I need to eat in order to "feel better". Kind of weird huh? I also thought that since I am eating a lot of veggies and fruits that I would be healthier. That isn't the case! I did pick up a vitamin B-complex sublingual mix that should help with metabolism as well as health. I try to have something everyday that has probiotics in it. It does seem to help my digestive tract overall. I have been able to keep my energy up since I eat regularly- three meals and three snacks a day. This seems to keep my energy up. My husband said that when a person sleeps well, it helps to keep the appetite down. When you are sleepy, your body craves more carbohydrates. That is why people who snore or have sleep disorders like sleep apnea have a hard time loosing weight. Well, I need to go and pick up my son from school. Sydney came home earlier with a stomach bug. Yuck, here's to another school season of sickness!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Somewhere Only We Know- Keane