Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Thoughts!

As the holiday season began to near i decided not to do a post related to the season and or the theme of eating around the holidays.  I feel as though it is something that everyone talks about and is talked about so much that it can build you up for failure.  We all work everyday to be healthy so why should one day ruin all that.  We all know tips and ideas to stay on track and to avoid overeating but building it up to be such a huge ordeal makes it easier over indulge and blame it on the holiday season.

There is so much more to focus on during the holidays than what you are eating.  The holiday season is the time to enjoy your family and friends and be grateful for what you have in your life.  It is not a time to dread.  I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and allowed yourself to relax, enjoy good company, and remember what is really important in life. There is so much that we take for granted all year long and I think the holiday season puts alot of it in perspective and reminds us all what really is important in life. 

Sometimes things happen in life that you can't control. Recently I had a set back in my life right before the holiday season that took me by surprise.  Of course I spent a few days wallowing in my own self pity, crying, and feeling defeated.  Soon after though I instead looked at this set back as a great opportunity to be fully fulfilled in my life. 

I spent this holiday season happy and satisfied with my life and the people in it. I am now eagerly looking forward to the new year and the new possibilities I have before me. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and continue to have a loving and enjoyable new year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Greenwich Farmers Market!

Follow us as we check out the Greenwich Connecticut Farmers Market! Check out the a variety of local stands and some Greenwich locals enjoying the morning market.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesdays Tip! for dry skin

As the dry winter air starts to surround us it begins to take a toll on our skin.  Already I am suffering from dry/itchy skin as well as chapped lips.   For the past few weeks I have started keeping a bottle of inexpensive olive oil in my shower.  After I bath or shower I pat dry with a towel then lather on a few tea spoons worth of oil over my body and face.  It is a great moisturizer for your skin and will keep it silky smooth.  If you do decide to apply it on your body while still in the shower or tub make sure to be careful next time you enter as there may be a slippery residue. 

I have also been making my own facial exfoliating scrub with whats in my kitchen cabinet.  Once or twice a week I apply a mixture of about two tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon salt.  I use course salt and gently massage the mixture for about a minute than rinse with warm water.  If you do not have course salt you can use table salt as well as brown sugar.  The olive oil will leave your skin radiant and smooth without causing you to breakout.

When it comes to chapped lips winter is my worst enemy.  It seems as though every year when Thanksgiving rolls around my lips all of a sudden become dry and flaky.  I have found what works for me is Cocoa Butter with Vitamin E.  I even keep a small container in my purse.  I use a small container that you can buy at a drug store or container store that mimics a lip gloss container.  I fill it with the cocoa butter and have a travel size lip treatment I can take with me anywhere.



Have you ever tried any of these remedies?  Do you have any other at home treatments you use?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to It & Weight Watcher Wednesday (a little early) BUT it's all new..

So the pain has subsided and I have returned back to my normal gym schedule.  I am feeling good enjoying being back in a regular workout routine.  I am hoping that I offset any weight gain from the holidays with regular exercise. 

I do however find that sometimes I slack when it comes to tracking what I eat.  Though it is not a requirement of Weight Watchers, most members, and for that matter anyone who is not on WW and trying to loose weight finds it much easier when keeping a food journal or tracker.  Basically all you are doing is keeping yourself accountable for what you eat and drink everyday.  When I don't track it is much easier for me to let little snacks slide as well as loose track of how much I have eaten through out the day.  When I get confident I start to slack off on my tracking. At first its OK, but slowly but surely over time I start allowing myself little extras and treats at first I may just have a small snack a say to myself "that's fine I should have more than enough points"  after a while I am no longer actually even keeping track of the points I eat in my head, instead I gage an estimate of what I have eaten throughout the day which If I tracked it would probably add up to three days worth of food. Also one of the easiest ways to slack when not tracking is by all the beverages you drink and don't account for like coffee, soda, juices etc. Plane and simple, its much easier to stay on track when you hold yourself accountable for what you eat and drink. 

I am also excited for the new changes at Weight Watchers "points plus".  I have yet to be to a meeting this week to be filled in on all the changes but I have check out the etools.  I know some people are dreading this shift in the program but I look at it as a fresh start and a way to jump start my weight loss progress again.  Remember how easy it was your first few weeks on program to see the pounds drop, or on any weight loss program for that matter.  I am hoping to accomplish that same thing when I buckle down into this new plan.  Instead of dreading the change i am looking forward to it so that it doesn't discourage me.  I think there was a meeting about that a few weeks ago lol.  I will be sure to tell you how I feel after I finally get all the info.  I do know that my daily points and weekly points have increased, but so has some of the points values in my favorite foods.  I am excited that fruits are now all free though!  I am not as happy that we have to buy new products but I know they will be on sale in the beginning.  I can tell you that our meeting leader stressed to us that if you like using the points tracker than you should invest the six or so dollars it cost for the new calculator tool since the point sliders will no longer work.  I know that I will definitely be purchasing that this week.

Have you checked out all the new changes? Do you like them? Are you excited? or do you hate it!

You can find out more about Weight Watchers new Points Plus program HERE

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Children of the Corn!

This summer my friend Rachel and I were given a great opportunity. We were invited by Tony from Botticello Farms to come down to their corn fields and pick our own fresh corn. While we were there we learned the ins and outs of farming corn, as well as all the other fruits and vegetables Boticello Farms grow on their local farm. I was skeptic at first but eating fresh picked corn really is delicious. It tastes as if there is butter and sugar on it already and doesn't have the "raw" flavor I expected. We had a great time playing in the corn field and learned a lot.  Nothing beats fresh picked locally grown grown produce. Check out the short video we filmed while there.



Visit Boticello Farms HERE

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pain!

I am in pain, lots and lots of pain. I think my body is punishing me for all the time I have spent away from the gym. Though it was due to medical reasons, I don't think my body is accepting that excuse and is now dueling out it's own brand of punishment.

I have finally been able to get back to the gym. I went a few times on my own last week and met once with my new trainer. I was sore after meeting with my trainer on Thursday so I decided to skip the gym on Friday and instead go on Saturday morning after my Weight Watchers meeting (where I lost .8 lbs) Once there I looked in my training file and decided to do an set of leg exercises I had done in the past. Since I was feeling good and pumped to be back in the gym I decided that instead of just using my own body weight as resistance that I would add weights as I went through the exercises. Oh boy! Was that a mistake. I couldn't even get through my third set. My legs had become their own form of human jello. I went to walk down the stairs to go do abs and almost fell down them because my legs couldn't even hold my body weight at this point. I slowly made my way to the locker room thinking I had over done it a little bit, but would hopefully be ready Monday for my next training session.

Well it didn't end there. Over the next few hours my legs tightened up more and more till I was having trouble walking. Going up and down stairs became a loud screaming activity, so I began to beg my boyfriend to run up and down to get me things throughout the weekend. Sunday I realized that my training session on Monday was just not going to happen so I switched them from Mon & Wed to Tue & Thur. Come Monday morning I was still in so much pain that I just cancelled my first session all together and kept my Thursday one on the books.

Today I am feeling a bit better though it still pains me to walk up and down stairs let alone just walk. My boyfriend has been massaging my thighs for me at night while I clench my fists and bear through the pain. Hot baths and ice have also been helping.

Funny thing is it hasn't made me not want to go to the gym, I am actually bummed that I haven't gotten to go now that I am back on a schedule. I did however learn not to push myself too hard. I have to start slow and work gradually up to where I was before =)

Friday, November 12, 2010

HFL Pride!

I show my Hungry For Living pride everywhere! The other night my boyfriend took me Go-Cart racing... check out my racing name!


We move toward and become like that which you think about
-Lou Tice

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Back To Basics!

I have to admit like everyone else I struggle and have set backs.  After losing 40lbs I hit a plateau and was unable to see much progress for a while. Naturally this got me distraught and frustrated.  On top of that I was unable to do my regular weekly workouts at the gym due to medical issues I was dealing.  For a while I was doing fine.  I was eating right and doing other things to keep active.  Slowly I started to fall into old habits and allow my self “treats”.  The only problem with this is that I have a very hard time stopping once I start. What used to be me treating myself once a week became a daily thing.  I started to focus less on my meals and became less aware that I was going out to eat a lot and letting my boyfriend cook (which in my household is not a good idea when trying to be healthy).  Like I stated before he is a very meat and potatoes kind of guy.  His meals consist of buttery, saucy, fatty, fried food. While deliciously tempting to the senses, they are not so gratifying to the body.
I don’t want you to think I went and fell off the wagon, which was not the case at all.  I just became so preoccupied in life that I let other little things slide, like going to my weekly weight watchers meetings.  After doing this for so long and being so close to my goal weight I can easily stay on track without going to a meeting every week. The problem comes when I stay away for too long.  The great thing about weight watchers is every week you get to go, talk, relate to others and become re energized for the upcoming week.  You don’t get frustrated and unmotivated as easily when you have such a great support systems of people working for the same goals.  My pants started to not feel as loose and I knew I need to get back on my A-game. 
My friend and I got to a meeting a few weeks ago together.  I had gained a few lbs, but I went in knowing I would be up a little from my last visit.  Since then we have our weekly Saturday routine now of meeting in the morning and going to a meeting together.  I am also able to get back to the gym, which I have, and feel so much better already.  Even after being on this journey for so long it is still important to remember we all need a little help and support to do it.  I do this for myself, but it helps when I can do things with my friends like go to meetings, go on a hike or hit the gym together.  I am sore today after meeting with my new trainer at the gym but I am loving it, I know it means I worked hard!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Woodbridge Farm!

We met Dave from Woodbridge Farm at a farmers market in Greenwich, CT. Take a look and find out what certified organic and biodynamic produce is!

Monday, November 1, 2010

What to do with all that extra Halloween Candy!

If you are like me, you bought way too much candy for Halloween and now you are left with delicious treats just tempting you to devour them!  This is our first Halloween in our new house and living on a busy street we expected a lot more trick-or-treaters then we actually got.  We also had a Halloween party for friends the night prior to Halloween so people brought over lots of candy and sweets.  I have already given away as many baked goods as I could and have brought the rest into the office, but sitting at home waiting for my return tonight are the bowls of excess Halloween candy.  I was actually very good this year and bought candy I did not like to give away to trick-or-treaters so I wasn't tempted to pick at it.  I also bought a bag of Tootsie Rolls because I knew I would want to have something sweet and I can have four mini rolls for 1WW point.  The trouble came when friends brought over bags and bags of my favorite candies like Resses Peanut Butter Cups!!


So what to do with the left over candy? Well I found a few neat ideas that I thought I would pass along to you guys.  

  • Send it to Operation Gratitude. It goes into care packages for U.S. troops and to children in the communities they patrol. Ship by Dec. 5 to Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard, 17330 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91406. Attn: Charlie Othold.                                                      
  • Some dentists sweeten the incentive for kids to give up candy by buying it for a $1 a pound. Find one in your area here.
  • Homeless shelters or fire departments in your area might accept candy donations, too. Call and ask.
  • You can melt and use chocolate for baking purposes, and save hard candies, gumdrops and M&Ms to decorate gingerbread houses in December. (if you can store it and not be tempted)
  • You can make a candy bouquet. You could make a sweet get well gift, birthday gift, centerpiece, thinking of you gift, hostess gift, etc
Have any other Ideas??

Friday, October 29, 2010

IZZI B CUPCAKES

Check out this segment on IzzyB's Cupcakes. We came across them at a farmers market in Stamford, CT.


Check them out online http://ibcakes.com/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

EAT WATERMELON!

I saw a cute posting today on FitPerez.com and just had to share it.  What caught me wasn't the article, its facts or the health benefits it was pointing out.. NO, what caught me was this uber cute photo of this adorable puppy eating a watermelon.. How could you not melt? LOL maybe it's because I have my own little new puppy at home or maybe it's because I have always been a sucker for adorable puppies, but this photo was just too cute not to share.


In case you are interested the posting said:

Watermelon, aside from being delish can also lower blood pressure!!
Researchers at Florida State University say that watermelon contains the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine, which improves arterial function and therefore help lower blood pressure.
The study that was recently done finds that there was improved arterial function and lowered blood pressure in all nine pre-hypertensive adults, four men and five women, who ate watermelon daily for six weeks.
Let’s bring out the watermelon!
fitperez.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Surviving the State Fair Bulge!

This is the time of year for festivals and fairs.  Especially here in Connecticut, we are in the mist of numerous different festivals.  They are a great way to spend time with your family, enjoy a Sunday afternoon or even relax on a weekday night.  There are many different things to do, see, buy and eat. yes, EAT!

Though there are numerous things to do and see while you are there, one of main attractions and biggest profit makers at these events is food.  Now if you have ever been to a fair you know that the food they offer is usually no where near being healthy.  The food is usually high in fat and low in nutrition. Especially when it comes to big festivals and state fairs.  It seems they will throw anything in batter and deep fry it these days. While there are the usual french fries, corn dogs and onions, recently we have seen deep fried Oreos and Twinkies become popular. 

This year however the big sellers were Deep Fried Butter and Deep Fried Beer! Really? Butter isn't fattening enough, you need to coat it in a batter and deep fry it? I can't understand the draw for this, then I remembered we are the most over weight nation living on fast food and processed goods, so why not take the next step to eat straight butter.. I mean deep fried butter! The sad thing is that I read an article about the "inventor" and he only works three weeks a year.

There are even more outlandish things being thrown into the fryer at fairs. While looking into it I discovered there were many foods I didn't know existed. Things like Chicken-Fried Bacon, Fried Avocado Bites, Fried Frog's Legs, Fried Coca-Cola & Fried Ice Cream.

The weirdest fried food I saw was Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick. It's a mash-up of meatball mix and cooked spaghetti. The mixture is formed into balls, dipped in garlic batter, deep-fried, and finished with marinara sauce.

Another big draw at these places is doughnut sandwiches. A cheeseburger in between two Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts is a huge seller, I don't know why because it sounds disgusting, but apparently it has a huge following.  I also recently saw that they have branched out and now offer a chicken breast sandwich as well, for those health conscious patrons I assume. =)

Though there are other options available for food at these events many aren't much healthier. There is also all the sweets that surround you like sundaes, pastries, cotton candy, Cinnamon rolls etc.  Lets be real, most people see going to one of these events as a diet killer.  That's usually how I feel as well, so I took my camera phone with me as my friend and I walked a round a local fair and found healthier options to choose.
  • Check out the ethnic stands.  They usually have a lot of grilled meats and vegetables that aren't coated in heavy sauces.





 
  • My favorite stop at the fair is for steamed corn.  Its fresh and delicious and doesn't need any butter.
  •  Most big fairs will have local vendors selling different fresh fruits depending on the season
  •  If you want something more than a bottle of water choose a healthier option like fresh squeezed lemonade.  They make it fresh and add the ingredients to your liking, which means you can get it with no sugar.



  • Another favorite of mine is the baked potato.  Again its something that you build to your own tastes so you can forgo the bacon bits and cheese.  You can limit the amount of butter as well.

  •  People love putting things on sticks at these events so you can almost always find a kabob or chicken skewer.



  • Finally, It is a fair so I do allow myself a treat or two.  The best sweet treat to get without undoing all the good you accomplished is a simple soft served ice cream cone.  Be even better and get it in a cup!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 6 Best- and Worst-For-You Fast Foods

I came across this article today on Yahoo! Heath and I wanted to share it with all of you.  I know personally there are times when I need to eat on the run or am looking for a snack that wont throw me off track.  It is very hard to do so in our fast food society but here are a few examples of healthy choices we can try to make.  It is also good to periodically take a look and remember how unhealthy most of the convenient foods out there are.  Is that quick snack really worth 1,000 calories???

Eating at what many consider "healthy" fast food restaurants like Subway won't necessarily keep you as slim as Jared. Cornell University researchers recently stopped 500 diners as they left either Subway or McDonald's, asking them to estimate how many calories were in their meals. The average McDonald's patron guessed 876 calories when the real count was 1,093. By comparison, the typical Subway customer estimated 495 calories when the real count was 677—much higher than her guess!

"There's a big health halo that surrounds everything related to Subway," says Brian Wansink, PhD, lead researcher of the study and author of Mindless Eating. "People feel that they can justify extras like cookies and chips." What's more, when researchers tracked the diners at both fast-food establishments until dinnertime, the Subway group snacked more throughout the day, consuming an extra 112 calories, on average.

That said, there are healthy choices to be made at fast-food restaurants. The key word in that statement is "choices." Think before you order, and remember to say no to value meal deals that add extra items like fries and a drink. Odds are, any fast food add-ons will wind up doubling your calories with little to no extra nutrition.

 
1. FAT-FREE LATTE
At just 130 calories, you can get a dose of caffeine and a serving of healthy fat-free calcium with this afternoon coffee-shop treat. Just be sure to order a small, and if you'd like to add a little sweetness without doubling your calories, ask for a pump or two of sugar-free vanilla syrup.

2. CHILI
A small chili from Wendy's provides 227 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and a whopping 14 grams of protein. This hearty side is high in sodium (830 grams), but it also delivers 10% of a day's worth of iron.

3. LIGHTER FARE
A few chain restaurants have caught on to customers' cravings for lighter selections. For example, Au Bon Pain recently introduced a menu collection called Portions that features 14 dishes containing 200 calories or less, among them brie, fruit, and crackers; and chickpea and tomato salad.

4. BAKED POTATO
Even topped with chives and sour cream, a baked potato from Wendy's clocks in at under 350 calories, with 10 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. (A potato eaten with the skin is a top-notch source of fiber, as well as potassium.) You'll also get 110% of your daily vitamin C requirement, plus 20% of your recommended iron and calcium intakes—making this drive-through side a fairly well-rounded meal.

5. FLATBREAD SANDWICHES
Just because fast food is convenient doesn't mean it has to be oversized, fried, or served on a bun. Quiznos offers six 160- to 240-calorie Sammies, petite flatbread sandwiches like Sonoma Turkey and Bistro Steak Melt. Dunkin' Donuts has come out with Oven-Toasted Flat-bread Sandwiches that are easy to hold and eat for breakfast or lunch. At less than 300 calories and about 6 grams of fat, these light meals are a guilt-free way to eat on the run.

6. GRILLED ITEMS
We're not talking burgers here. Usually, a fast food joint's grilled or roasted options—think turkey, chicken breast, lean ham, and even roast beef—provide fewer calories and less fat, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Skip the fries and be smart about the toppings (no mayo, more veggies), and you're on the right track.


6 Worst For You Fast Foods

1. ARBY'S ROAST TURKEY & SWISS.
Sure, it sounds healthy. But with those supersize slabs of bread, you get 725 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, and more than a full day's worth of sodium! If you must, order it without the mayo to make it healthier, and save half of the sandwich for the next day.

2. SUBWAY FOOT-LONG SWEET ONION CHICKEN TERIYAKI SUB
Don't be fooled by the Subway "health halo." This sandwich delivers 9 grams of fat, not to mention nearly 800 calories. On top of that, you'll be getting more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium with your sub. Most adults should consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day.

3. CINNABON CARAMEL PECANBON
At 1,100 calories, 141 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein, and 56 grams of fat (no, that isn't a typo), this sticky-sweet treat from the food court is more like a dirty and dangerous trick. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this monster "snack."

4. MCDONALD'S FILET-O-FISH
Usually fish is a healthier choice than a burger, but not in this case. A McDonald's Filet-O-Fish contains 380 calories, which isn't that outrageous—until you consider the 18 grams of saturated fat. To make this sandwich less of an insult to your heart, ask for no mayonnaise or tartar sauce; at about 100 calories per tablespoon, these condiments can add up fast.

5. BURGER KING TENDER-CRISP CHICKEN SANDWICH
The Tendercrisp will fill you up with 800 calories and 46 grams of fat. Add a side and/or a soda to your sandwich, and you'll be getting way more than a full day's allotment of calories and fat in one sitting—without a single respectable serving of veggies or fruit in sight.

6. TACO BELL VOLCANO NACHOS
With a name like "volcano," you can expect the worst. And you won't be disappointed: Weighing in at 1,000 calories, 62 grams of fat, and 1,930 milligrams of sodium, this nacho "snack" has all the makings of a nutritional disaster. Its one redeeming quality is its 16 grams of fiber, a testament to the sheer volume of this volatile side dish.


Studies show that just hours after a person eats a typical fast-food lunch, fat globules start to collect in the blood vessels. It's easy to see why repeated consumption of these unhealthy meals can contribute to heart trouble, diabetes, and obesity. Blame this bad news on an overload of calories, fat, and sodium—the major concerns of a fast-food-heavy diet. All tie in to what may be the biggest (pun intended) problem with fast food: portion sizes.

The film Super Size Me shed light on mega-portions—and not coincidentally, "supersize" options vanished from certain fast-food menus after the film's release. Still, oversized servings are the norm for the fast-food industry. McDonald's has unveiled a 1/3-pound Angus burger, which you can wash down with a 42-ounce beverage called a Hugo. That's roughly the equivalent of 477 calories of cola. Some establishments are being a bit sneakier: What was once a Great Biggie order of fries at Wendy's was reintroduced in 2006 as a large. It's 0.2 ounce smaller, but still in excess of 500 calories.

Best advice: When ordering fast food, choose the smallest size, regardless of its name. Stick with single-patty burgers, or order a kid's size. And be sure to steer clear of these foods if you want to keep your nutrition on track, even at the drive-through

Excerpt from List Maker's Get-Healthy Guide, from the Editors of Prevention, © 2010, Rodale. The List Maker's Get-Healthy Guide: Top To-Do's for a Healthier You!.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ozzy!

Yes! We have a new addition to our family and his name is Ozzy!
He is a Cocker Spaniel puppy and he is about 3 1/2 months old with an amazing multi colored coat.

 
I am so elated and overjoyed already that I can't imagine my life without him.  I was surprised at how fast I fell in love with him and how much he already means to me.  I know now that I will never have a problem with dirty diapers when I have kids.  As I start to potty train Ozzy I am amazed at how little I care about cleaning up his accidents. (Thankfully in the kitchen where there is no carpet to destroy).  He is a wonderful little boy who loves to snuggle and play.  He is already in love with leaves in the yard and will chase anything you drag along the floor.
 For a puppy he is incredibly relaxed and calm but still loves to run around in the yard with me.  He is also very well behaved and doesn't require to be on a leash when outside in our yard, he will literally stay within a foot of you unless you start running then he will follow and stop the minute you do.  I just wanted to fill you all in on my new love! I look forward to sharing more with you and I promise I will try not to think my Ozzy is the bestest doggy in the whole wide world (even though he is) :)


 Thanks for all the well wishes and support!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Beginnings

I am loving my new house! It is so nice having a house instead of an apartment or condo.  I am loving having a yard to mow, a place to plant flowers & the ability to finally get a dog!! It has been quite hectic around here the last few weeks trying to unpack and settle into our new home.  I haven't posted recently and it has upset me that I haven't made the time to update you all.  I have spent the last few weekends puttering around the house trying to fix and organize everything.  Though I am still not fully done, I feel I have gotten the majority of things done.  We held a tag sale two weeks ago to try and get rid of things we no longer needed. Whatever didn't sell we brought over to the goodwill.  It is nice to know that we can help others out just by cleaning out the junk that we no longer use. 

Right now I am in the process of finding a new companion to join us in our home.  Those who know me know I have always wanted a dog, but was unable to have one because they were not allowed at the condo we lived in. Over five years ago I lost my best friend Tempest.  She was a black English Cocker Spaniel who came to us at age eight when she was retired.  Before coming to us Tempest was a champion show dog and breeder.  Her life dramatically changed when she came to live with us.  She went from being a show dog to a much loved family companion.  I loved her so much, she went everywhere with me, I even snuck her into my dorm in college to spend the weekend.  I never wanted to replace Tempest, that is why I didn't go out and get a new dog right away.  When I did move out on my own though I was ready to share my love with another pet. 

Now the time has finally come and I am so excited.  Last week I went and visited a few shelters but didn't find a dog that a felt a connection to.  I don't want to get just any dog, I want to get the right dog!  I do have a bias though, I am looking for a Cocker Spaniel or King Charles Cavalier.  I am going to another shelter this weekend, they are having an event and getting 80 dogs in from the south.  I am hoping to find a new friend there, but if I don't we are headed to a cocker spaniel rescue.  I hope to find a dog that wants us as much as we want them, if we are unsuccessful again this weekend then we will just wait and continue to check the local shelters. I look forward to updating you on this over the weekend!

Tempest!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New House!

So in case you missed my update on the other post, we officially got the house.  We are so excited! We weren't looking to move, but our landlord sold our condo so we had to.  We had looked all around and the apartments and condos in the area were all too small or too much money. We were so happy when we found this house for rent! We are in moving mode now.  For the last week we have been making trips over and quickly filling up the basement with all our "stuff" our official moving day is Saturday (if we don't get rained out by the hurricane).  We will be bringing all the furniture and big stuff over then. We are so excited to actually have a house! We have a front yard, back yard, front porch, back porch, basement, two bedrooms and we can have a DOG!!!! =) Another great feature.. a washer and dryer!! No more paying to do laundry!!

This is a great time to go through all my stuff and throw out/donate/give away all the old clothes, shoes, appliances, trinkets, junk, "crap" I don't use anymore.  I have already started a tag sale pile in the basement, I can't wait to hold it, hopefully in two weeks, if I can get through everything. Like they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure! (which is very true in my case because i am sure a lot of the junk I have has come from tag sales)

So for everyone who wanted to see, here is our new home!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Photos!

I have updated the "My Journey" page and have added some new photos from my past birthday.  Although I am not where I want to be I am happy with my progress thus far and look forward to getting healthier and more fit throughout the next year!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Shower!

My cousin recently got married.  On her bridal shower invitation I was impressed when I noticed the last line of text. "In honor of being "green" no wrapping paper preferred. What a great thing to do I thought! Then I started wondering how I was going to package up my gift for her, and what others might do.
For her shower I ended up getting her a set of small cast iron pans and a few utensils.  When I told the woman at Williams-Sonoma about the no wrapping paper she decided to tie the utensils to the box of cast iron pans with a pretty ribbon.  How cute I thought! It really came out looking very sweet and "green"! I was glad to not have to waste any wrapping paper.  The same day I purchased their wedding gift.  It was a very large pasta pot set.  The woman at the store had another great "green idea", she put the large box into one of their very large reusable bags, it is by far the largest reusable shopping bag I have ever seen, and I have quite a few.  I was so excited. I tied the handles together with a small piece of ribbon and the gifts were ready to go! I was certain I had gotten very creative with my "green" wrapping, I was looking forward to seeing what other people would come up with. 

The day of the shower there were numerous different types of green wrapping.  There were gifts piled into a reusable basket, tied with ribbon, wrapped with newspaper, in their original department store bags, in decorated store bags, and even wrapped in dish towels that were part of the gift. 
I must say people were very creative and artistic in their ideas. It was also nice that there was hardly anything to throw out.  Since the ribbons from gifts at showers are generally used to make the bouquet for the rehearsal dinner there was almost no wasted materials.  The department store bags used to "wrap" the gifts doubled as a way to transport all the gifts home.
Think about it this the next time you throw a shower, birthday or any kind of party. It is really a simple thing to add to the invitation.  And don't forget you will be helping the planet!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stressed!

I am a very organized person, and for the first time in my life I feel like I have no control.  We just got back from vacation a last week, and right before we left we found out we have to move.  Our landlord has sold our condo and now we have to find a new place to live.  Trouble is there aren't many options available.  My boyfriend is a lieutenant fire fighter in the town we live in, and he has to live in town.  When I first moved up here we had looked at all the apartments and condos in the area.  We ended up where we live now because all the others were either too small or way out of our price range.  So finding out we have to move again has left us both a little frazzled. We already know that the few other apartment buildings are not options so we have been looking for duplexes and houses to rent.  Again, the problem is there aren't many options. 

We found a wonderful small little house that we love! It is the same rent as we pay now and it has a yard, a front porch, a deck etc etc.  It is so cute and it it a house! our own house! we want it so badly but we don't know yet if we will get it.  We know a few other people have applied and we are impatiently waiting!!
We found a few duplexes as well but they are all more expensive than we are looking to pay. There is also only one that we would consider living in but also has a lot on cons. Problem is we HAVE to move and we HAVE to find a new place to live ASAP!

So we are left stressed, confused and unsure of what lays ahead. I am in the process right now of packing up all of our stuff, even though we don't know when or where we are going.  We are also stressed out about having to pack up everything we own and move it.  Especially since we don't know when this move will happen.  The places we are looking at are supposedly ready September 1st, so that leaves us with a week and a half to move...yet we still don't know if we have acquired a new home!! This has also unfortunately trickled down and affected my eating and workout progress.  I am trying my very best to stay on track.  I did go a bit off course this weekend and indulged at my birthday party but I allow myself to do that from time to time so I don't feel deprived. 

My main goal this week is to get back on the bike at night and continue with my nightly riding.  I come home and want to skip it so I have more time to pack and organize but I know I need to take care of my self first before I try to fix everything else that's going on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Victory Gardens!

It feels like forever since I have written a post! It has taken a few days to fully recover from our vacation. Thankfully the weekend is almost here and I can rest, lol i know i was just on vacation! We decided to drive down to North Carolina and on our way we stopped to spend the day in Washington, DC.  It was a great day, my boyfriend, my cousin and I spent the day checking out the city. We visited the Vietnam Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, The American History Museum & walked by the White House.  Aside from it being very hot is was a fun filled day. 

While we were at the American History Museum we decided to grab some lunch in their cafeteria.  First of all it was the nicest cafeteria I have seen anywhere, ever. It far beats any college food court with the vast array of delicious looking choices.  It also had an amazing salad bar! While we were sitting eating our meal, I glanced over and noticed a large garden on the other side of the windows.  We began to speculate about the garden and if it was used for the food in the cafeteria.  I looked closer and saw a sign stating it a garden for victory.  I got up to take a picture of the garden and reached out to an employee who confirmed the garden was indeed used to supply the food we were eating.  I found this to be such a great idea and was so impressed the steps the museum was taking to save money, be green, be healthy & live off the land they had!  When I got a chance I started to research the garden to find out more about it.

The Victory Garden was started in conjunction with the Within These Walls exhibition that is at the Museum. Using a design from 1943 the Smithsonian re-created a World War II victory garden. The garden is 130 feet long and contains over 50 varieties of different vegetables and flowers that change with the seasons.


Before this I had never heard of Victory Gardens. From my research they were vegetable gardens planted during the world wars to ensure an ample food supply for civilians and troops. Government agencies, businesses, and schools all worked together to provide land and seeds for individuals and communities to grow food.  All across the country Americans plowed their backyards, parks, and schoolyards to create gardens. Children and adults worked hard fertilizing, planting, weeding, and watering in order to harvest an enough vegetables. The goal was to produce enough fresh vegetables through the summer for the immediate family and their neighbors. All excess produce was canned and preserved for the winter and early spring. Throughout the World War II years millions of victory gardens from window boxes to community plots produced abundant amounts of food. While the gardens themselves are now gone, posters, photos, newspaper articles and memories remain to tell us the story of victory gardens.

This seems like a great thing and I don't know why it ever stopped.  We should all know how to grow our own food.  I feel like sometimes we become too dependent on the food service masses.  Though it is not feasible for everyone to grow their own food and depending on where in the country you live it limits the foods you can grow, It isn't crazy to do things in small quantities.  You can grow herbs in your kitchen or out side in a flower box.  If you have a house you can create an herb garden,  plant a few seeds, or a create a large garden and grow your favorite fruits and vegetables.  Not only will you save money you will benefit from having fresh ripe produce at your fingertips all season long.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm Back!

Just wanted to post a quick post letting you know I am back! I had a great vacation in Outer Banks, NC.  It was beautiful, relaxing and fun! We drove down last Saturday and spent the day in Washington, DC and that night in Virgina.  Then we enjoyed a long week at the beach ending with my cousin's wedding.  It was a wonderful family vacation! Aside from the tremendous amount of traffic we hit driving home on Sunday it was a great vacation. Now I am back to my normal life and getting back into the swing of things.  I will be posting lots of great stuff so stay tuned! ;)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday's Featured Product! Spin Pin

So this week's featured product isn't a food or health product.  It is actually a hair product! I know! Not what you expect from my blog, but I just came across it and love it so I thought I would share.

I don't know if you have seen the commercials for the "Spin Pin", but ever since I first saw them I have wanted to try it. They are advertised as a way to throw your hair up into a messy bun, quick & with only one pin that acts like 20 bobby pins.

 I usually check the hair care isle at the grocery store and they haven't showed up there yet.  Than the other day when I stopped by Walgreen's I remembered that I wanted to try them and went to see if they had them.  I was excited to find that they did and even more excited to see that they were on sale for $4.00 (usually about $6.50).  Obviously I quickly grabbed it up and went home to try it.

The only thing I was surprised by was that it actually takes 2 spin pins to do what the product claims.  I cant be sure but I don't ever remember seeing that in the commercials, but I yet to see one since.  Other than that it works great. Especially for me, since I leave about five minutes to get ready in the morning.  Usually I throw my hair into a pony tail & and if I wrap it up into a messy bun, I use a elastic and sometimes it ends up looking a bit weird.


So essentially the Spin Pins are corkscrew-shaped pins that you can use to create a  messy bun that will stay in all day.  They come in a few different color options & if you wear your hair up a lot they are worth checking out.  Especially for going out!


Have you tried the Spin Pin? Do you think you will now?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twitter!

Hungry for living is also on Twitter! If you have a Twitter account add us to stay up to date with everything going on and receive special Tiwtter only Tips and Updates! @HungryForLiving


Check out the feed HERE

New Blogger!

Check out this new blogger Erin @ Doing 40

She just turned 40 this year and is excited about what the future holds! It is her mission to be in the best physical, emotional, spiritual & financial shape she has ever been in by her Birthday this December.



Check her out & Wish her luck!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another year has come and gone!

Yes, yesterday was my 27th birthday.  It's sad as you get older, birthdays really just start to feel like any old day.  I was caught off guard the other day when my mom and I were talking and she mentioned how I needed to take a photo on my birthday for my blog.  I was confused, then I remembered that I have been chronicling my journey since my 25th birthday by posting pictures of my progress and success. I was actually disappointed because I don't feel I am where I want to be for my next "photo".  I guess it's good though, I had gotten a little lazy and side tracked and maybe this will push me to be better about staying on track with my eating and fitness. I just wish I was in a little better shape than I am at this moment.  Though knowing me I would probably feel that way no matter what.
Though I haven't made it back to the gym yet, due to some health issues, I have been back on my bike almost every night as well as taking a weekly Zumba class. We are also headed to North Carolina next week and I am bringing my bike with me so I stay on track!
I have to be happy about the progress made thus far.  I have come a long way in the past two years and I am excited for my triumphs and proud of my accomplishments!
So here are some pictures!


I will be updating my journey photos soon, I'm hoping to get some nice photos from our vacation!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest Blogging!

Today you can find my post 'Thursday's This for That! Small Steps, Big Rewards HERE. I am guest blogging on Meaghan's Daily Dose of Fitness blog.  Make sure to hop over and check out today's post and Meaghan's blog!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's Tip! One Day At A Time

Take it one day at a time!

Starting a new healthy way of living, a new exercises regime or changing your diet can seem like a lot of work.  Sometimes it can seem like too much work.  Focusing on all that goes into it or on everything that is going to change can discourage you from achieving your goals. Even two years into my healthy living makeover I have to stop and remember to take it one day at a time.  Especially when I buckle down and really try to focus on eating healthy. 

Just look at the present day, the present meal, the present day at the gym.  Focusing on each day gives me a goal to work for that day and leaves me feeling satisfied and accomplished when I go to bed at night.  Looking far into the future makes it seem like what you are trying to accomplish is impossible, like you have taken on such a huge endeavour that you will never be able to succeed. 

Don't give up if you veer off your path either.  Accept that you may indulge on a meal when out to dinner with friends, skip the gym for a few days or even fall off track.  It's bound to happen here or there especially if you plan on making life long changes.  The worst thing to do is throw in the towel and give up.  If you do, you waste all the good you have already accomplished and you cheat yourself out of achieving success.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Being Hungry For Living is Hard!

Being healthy is hard! You won’t get me trying to tell you otherwise. It is something you have to want to do and something that takes daily effort. This is especially true when it comes to our society today, when 64% of Americans are overweight or obese. It is very easy to eat and live unhealthy; it takes drive and effort to make better choices.
Even with all the press that is focused on eating healthy, being active, specialty health food grocery stores, gyms, diet plans & workout classes why is it still so hard to do? All that stuff is right there in front of us, why is it so hard to reach out and take hold of it?
One of the main factors, I believe, is cost. It is expensive to be healthy. It is 100 times easier to buy crap food because it cost less. At this point in my life I do not have a family to support and take care of. I can’t imagine the extra burden both financially and physically it would take to prepare fresh healthy meals for a family of four every night of the week.
As much as we try to make healthy eating and living the norm in this country, it is so far from being that. It is hard to find a healthy option when on the run; restaurants give you 4 times a normal portion when you are out to eat, plus what makes you want to order an egg white omelet when you can have your favorite stack of French toast or pancakes at the neighborhood diner?  Why after a long day of work do you want to get up and go to the gym when you could lounge of the couch watching your favorite TV show?
It’s not impossible to live healthy, it’s just hard. It’s something that I struggle with daily. There are always new temptations and new excuses lurking around every isle in the grocery store. It is easy to make excuses and allow yourself to be lazy. What’s hard is making good choices each and everyday to keep you on track. I really believe that those recent nutrigrain commercials are true; one good decision will lead to the next. The more good choices you make when it comes to your health and diet, the more good choices you are likely to continue to make. Having fruit as a snack instead of a candy bar will help you to choose grilled chicken rather than fried chicken for dinner that night. Why ruin all the good you already accomplished that day?

I have been lazy lately! I have had a lot of things going on and started to skip my weekly trips to the gym.  One week turned into two which turned into three which turned into a month! It is so easy to continue in that pattern once you start. I am very happy to report that last night I took a bike ride, the first time I've been on my bike since last fall. Now I hope to get back to riding most nights after work as well as hitting the gym a few days a week!


What are some things you struggle with when trying to stay on track?
What is hard for you?
What are some things you do to help keep yourself motivated when surrounded by temptation?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skinny Buns!

Those of you who regularly follow Hungry For Living, you know I LOVE sweets! You also know that I HATE fake sweets usually referred to as "diet".  One of my guilty pleasures is definitely Cinnamon buns.  As a kid I remember on special occasions we would have them for breakfast. They were always a special treat we looked forward to.
Now a days you can buy them in a can anytime you get a craving & then there are the ginormous ones that can be found at food stands in any local mall that probably contain more calories and fat than you should have in a week ;).
In my quest to still enjoy the foods i like and not feel guilty about indulging in them from time to time, I set out on a journey to create a "healthier" Cinnamon bun.  Now I'm not crazy, I know there is no such thing as a healthy Cinnamon bun, but over the last few months and numerous trials and errors I have created a yummy 3 point Cinnamon bun, that my mother has named the Skinny Bun!.

What you need:
Small bowl or mixer
Non stick pan
Rolling pin
Flour (for dusting)
Non stick cooking spray

Ingredients For Cinnamon Roll:
1/4 cup Splenda granulated sweetener
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp Light butter spread (room Temp)
2 Tbs Cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tube of reduced fat crescent roll dough
I can't believe it's not butter spray


Ingredients for Icing:
1 tub of individual Weight Watchers cream cheese (room temp)
1/3 Cup Fat Free cool whip (thawed)
1 Tbs Splenda granulated sweetener
1 tsp powdered sugar
Vanilla extract (a few drops-to taste)


Directions for making the rolls:

1) In a small bowl add Splenda, brown sugar, butter, Cinnamon & salt.  Mix all ingredients together almost like you were "creaming" them, making sure all ingredients get evenly mixed together.

2) Hand kneed the crescent dough into a ball.  Sprinkle your surface with a light dusting of powder and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle.

3) Using the butter spray, evenly coat the surface of the dough (about 20 sprays)

4) Spread the sugar mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.

5) Roll the dough into a long roll.  Pinch the seam and sides together to seal.

6) Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes or longer (this makes it easier to slice)

7) Gently cut the roll into 8 equal pieces.

8) Place rolls on a non stick pan that you have also coated with cooking spray.

9) Bake @ 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until brown.





To make the icing:
You can make it in a small bowl or small mixer.  I find it is easier to mix the cream cheese when using a mixer.

1) Mix WW cream cheese and 2/3's of the cool whip in a mixer.

2) Once the mixture is thoroughly creamy mix in splenda, powdered sugar & vanilla extract.

3) Right before you are done quickly mix in the remaining 1/3 of the cool whip.







4) After you remove the Cinnamon rolls from the oven, allow them to cool for a minute, then evenly distribute icing over the rolls.



1 Bun = 3 WW Points
Enjoy!