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!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Zumba!

I have been dying to try out a Zumba class!  I have heard a lot about them but have yet to experience it.  I keep hearing what a great work out it is and how it is also a lot of fun to do.  This past Thursday I finally got the chance to take a class.  I casually mentioned to my voice coach on Wednesday how I have always wanted to try it.  She started telling me about a place she just recently found that holds classes.  She had just started taking classes there and she loved it.  She told me about how easy going it was and that no one cares what you look like, how you move or anything.  There are people at all different levels, different ages and body types.  She even told me how the instructor calls the class "juicy girl umbaZ" and how she jokingly yelled at a girl who wore makeup to the class saying "you don't wear makeup to Zumba!
I was so I excited to try this place out and finally get to experience Zumba. It was even better when I found out that the class was the next night. That night I went home and told my friend about the place I had found and she was up for joining me the next day. 
When we got there we weren't sure at all what to expect.  The people were all really friendly and welcoming and we were nervous but intrigued to find out what kind of workout/dance/moves we were going to be doing. It started with a quick warm up to loosen everything up and then the real "Zumba" started.  The instructor told us it was OK if we couldn't keep up or do the steps, she just had on rule "just keep moving!" It was so much fun!  Loud fun music, dance moves, excitement and laughter all mixed together.  We were doing all types of different moves and steps that you forget you are working out because it is so much fun.  Then you realize your a little short of breath and you remember its a workout!
We did pretty well for our first class.  We paused a few times in between beats when we needed to catch our breaths,  we definitely missed a few steps but jumped right back into it & we made the big mistake of not bringing a bottle of water with us.  Other than that it was a great workout and to remind us that it was a workout and not just a fun crazy dance party... we were covered it sweat!
It was a crazy fun class that gave us a total body workout and we can't wait till next week to go back!

Have you ever tried Zumba?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weight Watcher Wednesdays! Food Journals

If you are a weight watchers member or have ever been one you know all about keeping track of what you eat in a food journal.  Tracking what you eat (and your points) is one of the main concepts behind weight watchers.

Whether you are a member of weight watchers, trying to loose weight, or just trying to maintain a healthy way of living, food diaries can be very helpful. By recording every bite you eat in a journal you will get an accurate view of exactly what types of foods you eat on a daily basis and how much of them you consume. This will allow you to see hidden calories seeping into your diet (ex-soft drinks, juice) and make you accountable.  It may also be able to explain why you are gaining weight or are unable to lose it.  As a result food journaling can also help you to choose foods because you are truly hungry instead of out of emotion. 

By journaling I am able to eat intuitively.  Intuitive eating is listening to your body to choose your foods instead of relying on external regimes and rules. Today people are so diet obsessed that many people have moved past this concept by attempting to adhere to rigid calorie limits or by deeming certain foods off-limits. By putting these restraints on yourself you inevitably want to rebel against them and you begin to crave more calories and the very foods which you are "not supposed" to be eating. When I track what I eat in a  food journal  I am more likely to listen to my hunger/energy needs when making choices about what to eat.  It also really does help keep me accountable of what I allow myself to eat.  I notice when I go a day or so without tracking I eat more than I usually do and more than I need to.


In case that wasn't enough here are 10 benefits to food journaling I found online.

1. Allows you to monitor your caloric intake. – Losing weight is a simple equation – take in fewer calories than you expend. Monitoring your caloric intake is the first step in lowering it.

2. Encourages you to focus on your food choices. – More often than not we overeat because we are focusing on something other than what we are eating. Writing down what you eat in a food diary forces you to focus on what you are doing

3. Provides a record you can share with your health care provider. -- Your health care provider can look at your food diary and provide insight and information on what you can do to eat healthier. Also, what you are eating may be impacting your health in other ways.

4. Helps you control the urge to binge. – Knowing you are going to have to write down what you eat can stop you from reaching for the second helping of potato chips.

5. Allows you to track your progress. – A food diary can serve as evidence of how far you have come in this journey. It also feels great to look back and see you are eating better today than you did days, weeks or years ago.

6. Encourages mindful eating. – Writing down what you eat encourages you to think about what you are eating. The more you think, the less and better you eat.

7. Creates a means of evaluating the connection between what you eat and how you feel. – You can use a food diary to examine the circumstances and feelings which trigger overeating. Once you identify the causes you can begin doing something about them.

8. Helps you be sure you are getting enough of each food group. -- It is important to eat a balanced diet. A food diary can provide clues as to what foods you have been neglecting and need to add to your diet.

9. Assists you in acknowledging the reality of how much you eat. – Keeping a food diary will help you confront the truth about how much you eat. Once you stop kidding yourself about how much you eat, you can begin making the necessary changes.

10. Reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. – Each time you make an entry in your food diary you are expressing your intention and desire to do what needs to be done in order to live well.


Do you keep a food journal? What do you like about it?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday's Tip! Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

When you think of recycling you usually think about those old newspapers, soda cans, a water bottle, maybe an old plastic food container.. but there are actually many other things you can recycle.  I have compiled a list of a few things you probably never thought about recycling.

                                                       Wine Corks
Instead of throwing away that cork (after you recycle the glass bottle) you can send them to Yemm & Hart Green Materials. This organization has started an experimental wine cork-recycling program that processes old corks into useful environmentally friendly cork floors and wall tiles.  This organization eventually hopes to be able  pay people for their corks!

Shoes
When you are ready to trade in your shoes for a new pair they have usually been beat up quite a bit and wont make the best donation. Just cause you can't pass them on to someone new doesn't mean they have to live forever in a landfill.  Nike takes old rubber-soled shoes and recycles them into new athletic surfaces like basketball courts and running tracks. You can find a drop off location at http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/

                                                       Prescription Medication Drinking water in many areas is contaminated with all kinds of pharmaceuticals that have seeped into our water supplies. Instead of flushing your old prescription medications down the toilet you can donate drugs that are still usable. Not all states have a recycling program that allows patients to donate, you can check out the list at NCSL.


Books, DVDs, and CDs
Most people have stacks of old books, DVDs and CDs that they no longer use. Usually you don't throw them away, instead they take up space collecting dust. Swaptree.com allows you to trade your old stuff for something that’s new to you.  And it's free! Who doesn’t love free stuff? After you sign up you list your unwanted stuff and choose the items you’d like to receive.
You can also look into websites like Ebay and Amazon where you can make a profit from getting rid of your old stuff. I always order books online where I can get them cheaper than in a store.

Holiday Lights
Whether you just have tons of old & broken strands laying around or you want to upgrade to for environmentally friendly LED holiday lights you can give your old lights a new life. Send them off to HolidayLEDs to be recycled, Doing so will get you more than just the satisfaction of doing a good deed,  they will also give you 15% off anything on their site!


Carpet
Old carpets can be pretty gross and it isn't always easy to get rid of unwanted carpet. Carpet Recovery has a map you can check to see if there are reclamation partners in your area. Your old carpet could be given a second life as composite lumber, roofing shingles, railroad ties, or automotive parts!


                                                                 Packing Peanuts
Nobody likes getting a package full of packing peanuts they get everywhere, they are hard to clean up, and aside from that, they aren't very Eco friendly! Now you can actually pass them along to someone who really wants them, EPS recyclers. They can be dropped off at a local location or sent in the mail.


Bras
Now bras are not something you want to include with the rest of your old clothing that you donate to goodwill . But you don’t t have to throw away quality garments that no longer meet your needs whether due to style or size.  Many people take clean undergarments for granted, but there are lots of people in need for things as simple as a bra. Bosom Buddy Recycling takes your donations and gives them to women around the country including those in shelters, transitional housing, and breast cancer-survivor support groups.
 

Metal hangers
If you dry clean metal hangers can accumulate rather quickly in your home. Instead of throwing them away, return them to the dry cleaner to be recycled. Most will accept and reuse them. Even banged up ones are usually returned to the supplier or sent to a scrap metal dealer.



Eyeglasses
Your old "junk" eyeglasses can actually be someone elses "treasured" eyeglasses. This is a great way to recycle an old pair of glasses that no longer benefit you. By donating them they can be enjoyed by someone who is visually impaired in a developing country, who otherwise would not be able to afford such a luxury. To donate your old glasses, visit New Eyes for the Needy. You can also visit stores like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, or Goodwill where drop off boxes are usually located.

Well I bet you didn't know there were so many organizations and charities out there so willing to take all you old junk off your hands! I'm sure there is something on this list that you have collecting dust somewhere. So in the spirit of being Eco friendly (and adding more space to your closet) I encourage you to look into these opportunities to recycle!

Blog Award!

Brittany from Deliciously Healthy has awarded me this wonderful award!
Thanks so much Brittany!



The rules for this award are as follows:
1.Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

Oh Boy 7 things about me? Hmmm lets see..

~When I was little I swallowed a screw!
~I once did a cartwheel through a glass table (not on purpose)
~I was president of my sorority Delta Epsilon Beta
~After I watch a scary movie I have to jump into bed because I fear something will reach out and grab me, I also have to leave the shower curtain open!
~When I was a kid I used to wish I had braces or glasses, I thought they were cool
~I am a horrible speller
~I am a sucker for reality TV

I Pass the award onto these, newly discovered blogs! :
Check them out!

Thank you Brittany!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral!

Wow what a great creative initiative! 

“My blog is carbon neutral” is an initiative that originally started in Germany by the “Make it Green” program, with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Its free to join and when you do they plant a tree in honor of your blog which then neutralise your blog’s carbon footprint for the next 50 years! Then add one of their buttons to your site and you can promote your carbon neutral site.

To participate Click Here

Everyone can make a small contribution to the environment. Every tree counts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feature Friday! Roses for Autism

This weeks Featured Friday is actually an organization I came across while filming for Hungry For Living TV last week.  We were at a farmers market in Greenwich, CT when we met Debbie who works for the organization which is based out of Guilford, CT.  The more she told us about Roses for Autism the more we realized they are about more than just selling flowers.


Roses for Autism was the inspiration of a father of a teen with autism. Like many parents of children with disabilities, Jim Lyman dreamt of a future where his son, Eli, would have a meaningful job and continued opportunities to grow as an individual.
Through his work in agriculture Jim knew that local farmers were struggling to find qualified workers to keep their businesses alive. He had the vision to see a perfect opportunity for an innovative program that would meet the needs of both the autism and agricultural communities.
Roses for Autism not only provides individuals on the autism spectrum the chance to learn the skills necessary to maintain meaningful employment, but also serves as a model that can be replicated nationwide to develop unique opportunities for them as a whole new competitive workforce.
Started in 2009, Roses for Autism is the first business endeavor for Growing Possibilities, a nonprofit social enterprise founded by Ability Beyond Disability that is dedicated to growing independence in the business world for individuals with Autism and other disabilities. RosesforAutism.com

The roses they sell are beautiful, but more beautiful is the story behind them. Adults with Autism hold many talents but only about 12% of them are employed.  Purchasing from Roses for Autism supports development of inclusive work place opportunities for adults with Autism. To purchase roses, donate or to learn more about this wonderful organization please visit http://www.rosesforautism.com/
Also check out their website for information on their upcoming event Autism Rocks!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday's This for That!

This weeks this for that is a quick and easy change you can make to your meals.  Instead of eating regular pasta made from white flour opt instead for whole wheat or even multi grain options.  Now a days it is easy to find whole wheat options in all types of shapes and sizes from angle hair to rigatoni. 



I made the switch to whole wheat pasta a while ago and I love it.  I was worried at first about how it would taste but I actually like it better now.  It has a slightly softer texture but is almost unnoticeable.  I have made it many times for my boyfriend and he had no idea once it was covered in sauce.  He would never choose to eat it if he knew it was whole wheat!

I encourage you to buy a box and try it.  It's much healthier and I don't feel guilty about indulging in pasta when I make whole wheat pasta.

Do you eat whole wheat pasta? Will you try it?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weight Watcher Wednesday!

One of the big things about Weight Watchers® is tracking what you eat in a journal.  Now while that is also a great thing to do, today's post is more focused on making sure you fulfill the Good Health Guidelines which is also something the journal helps track!

What are the Good Health Guidelines?
Well Good Health Guidelines are a way to guide you toward healthy choices as you lose weight. They also help to ensure you are getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to boost your health while losing weight.  Each day you aim to eat healthy meals that include choices from the Good Health Guidelines.  The goal of everyday is to fulfill all the requirements of the Good Health Guidelines.

What does it include?
Each day you want to try and incorporate all these into your daily meals.

2 Servings of Healthy Oils Olive, Fish, Flax seed, Canola, Sunflower etc
2 Servings of Lean Protein Chicken, Eggs, Beans, Fish etc
2 Servings of Milk Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
5 Servings of Fruit AND Vegetables
6 Servings of Liquid
Whole Grains
Multi Vitamin

Its easy to eat things you know are "healthy" but when you focus on these guidelines everyday it helps you to make better choices and helps you to eat healthier!

Have you ever tried this?  If you are having trouble losing or are in a rut, try planing your meals around these guidelines to give yourself a new way to plan your meals.  You will find it really does help you to make better choices!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday Tip!

Did You Know?

You can lose 1/3 more weight if you resolve to exercise with friends!!

What a great excuse to get together with your friends, and get healthy at the same time!

Ideas:
Take a walk after dinner with friends in the neighborhood
Get together and walk your dogs together
Take the kids out for a stroll/nature hike
Get your partner or your friend to join a gym with you
Start taking a weekly exercise class with a friend
Go for a walk at lunch time with co workers
Plan a time once a week to walk, run, bike or whatever with your best friend
Pool your money and hire a personal trainer to help you together
Go to the beach or pool and swim laps together

Having someone to keep you on track is very helpful and effective! Whether it's your husband or wife, daughter or son, friend or neighbor, working together towards the same goal will allow you to help each other out, lean on each other, support and encourage one another!

Any other ideas??

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Logo!

What do you think of our new logo for Hungry For Living TV!?


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July All!!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend & I hope many of you get an extra day off work too!!


We had a great day of filming for Hungry For Living TV on Saturday! More to come on that with pics, info and lots of great products!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Feature Friday! Candy

It's Friday & it's the start of a long weekend so why not celebrate with something sweet? Well that usually leads me to trouble...

Luckily I have found sweet treats that give me the sugary chocolate experience I'm after, without having to pay for it.  I am in LOVE with the line of Whitman's candies endorsed by Weight Watchers.  Now this isn't nasty no taste sugar free candy! Were talking chocolaty, creamy, peanut buttery, loaded with caramel candies! I haven't tried all of them but I am partial to the Caramel Medallions & The Peanut Butter Cups.  My friend however is in love with the mint patties and I have had the toffee ones which are good too.  So I am pretty confident in saying that they rock. 

They are a great late night treat when you NEED something sweet or a perfect little dessert. I also grab one when I come home from work some days when I am starving and I still need to make dinner.The best part is they are only 1 or 2 WW points.  Not bad right?

Like I said my two favorites are:

        Carmel Medallions 1point      Peanut Butter Cup 2points

They offer so many choices, you’re sure to find one you love!
Pecan Crowns 1Points
Mint Patties 1Points
Coconut 1Points
Crispy Butter Cream Caramel 1Points
Peanut Butter Crunch 1Points
Caramel Medallions 1Points
Almond Nougat 1Points
NougieNuttyChew 1Points
English Toffee Squares 1Points
Double Chocolate Mousse 2Points
Peanut Butter Cups 2Points


I encourage you to try them out and also try the other options that may suit your tastes better. My grocery store sells at least 5 different candies (Stop & Shop). They may be hard to find some places, I can't get them at Shop Rite.  If your store doesn't carry them ask them if they could!  Let me know what you think! Or have you already tried them?
Please take a moment and cast your vote for Hungry For Living!



Thank You!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday's This for That! Bacon

If you are like me you want to be healthy and fit but don't want to give up everything you enjoy eating.  I have found many ways to continue to include some of my favorite foods in my diet by finding healthier options. I LOVE bacon! Though I don't eat it a lot anymore I still like to have it now and then. 
For instance I can have my beloved scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese wrap without feeling guilty, by choosing healthier options:

1 Egg & 2 Egg Whites                 VS     2 Eggs
1 Slice WW Cheese                    VS     1 Slice Regular Cheese
3 Fully Cooked Bacon Strips        VS     3 Strips Regular Bacon
Flax Wrap                                 VS     Flour Tortilla

Now were talking enjoying that same wrap for 7 points VS At least 14 points



One of my favorite swaps is something I have been eating for years, Fully Cooked Bacon! Some people are turned off by the idea (like my boyfriend who loves his greasy bacon)  but it is a great product! It tastes great, is easy and is healthier than frying up bacon on the stove. It also last longer and comes in a resealable container.  I have tried a couple of brands and my favorite is Oscar Mayer.  The idea is you don't need to cook it, you can throw it right into what you are cooking.  I however like my bacon crispy so I throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds before adding it to my scrambled eggs.  If you have never tried it then its worth picking up a box and checking it out. 


Have you tried it? Do you like it?

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