Friday, April 29, 2011

Diet and Exercise Jokes

While I am gone at BLS Training, I thought it would be nice to leave you with some jokes that will make you laugh. I hope that these help to brighten your Friday and that you have a great weekend!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Recipe Review: Baked Salsa Chicken Breast

Whenever I make recipes by Linda Pickles aka NCBEACHES, I know that they are going to be a hit! Linda is also faithful to share her incredible recipe collection with others on the Weight Watchers Recipe Review message board. I have made several other recipes that I have received from Linda and I had enjoyed every single one of them.

As I was getting ready to make this recipe, I honestly was not excepting to taste that good. I thought that it would be just another chicken recipe to add to my collection. However, this recipe completely surprised me! I had not even taken the chicken out of the oven yet and my entire house was filled with this wonderful aroma letting me know that dinner was going to be delicious!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you, because I liked it so much myself!

Here are the ingredients. The brown sugar is hiding behind the chicken. I only had two chicken breasts for Jon and I so I cut the recipe in half.


Brown Sugar

Balsamic Vinegar

Dijon Mustard

Stir everything together

Pour the salsa mixture over your chicken breasts

Put this is the oven and bake it for 30 minutes

This is what it looks like when it is finished!

I had one chicken breast and 1/4 cup of white rice. It was so good! I am going to be making this recipe again, very soon!!

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4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (mild, medium or hot)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Place chicken breast in a 2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Combine the salsa, brown sugar, vinegar and mustard in a bowl; pour over chicken. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

4 servings (160 calories 4 g fat 0 g fiber); 5 PointsPlus

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catching Up Before BLS

I am so thankful that Jon and I had a restful Easter weekend. Our family does not live close to us, so when it comes to holidays it usually means that we have a lot of traveling to do. This Easter we decided to take a break from everything and just relax!

Friday, I went with my friend Tabitha and we got pedicures! Look at how beautiful my toes came out.
The color I got is called, "Kinky in Helsinki".

Saturday, I had some online training to complete for Weight Watchers. It took me much longer than I anticipated. I was so frustrated at my computer. However, when it was all said and done I found out I got 100% on my test, so I passed!

After Jon got home and we were able to go shopping for our Easter baskets. Afterward, we cam home and watched Secretariant and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

This was such an incredible movie!

We really were blessed to have such a restful weekend!!

However, this week is kind of a crazy week in our home. Tomorrow morning I leave for BLS training in which I will learn how to become a Weight Watchers leader!

I am both excited and nervous, because this training is pass or fail. You go there without being guaranteed that you will leave a Weight Watchers leader. I have been praying all week that God would really bless my time at this training and help me to make some great connections.

Please pray for me as I am in meetings and pretending to lead my own Weight Watchers meeting.

While at BLS this week I will be posting updates and pictures onto my Facebook page. If you are not already a follower and want to be click the link below.

Follow Living a Change Life on Facebook

I do have a two posts planned for you while I am gone. I hope you enjoy them and have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



I am so good at tracking during the week. I do really well on a schedule with my normal routine. I am used to tracking, so that is just what I do. However, when the weekend comes I have such a hard time tracking what I eat!

It is almost like I feel as though I have done a great job all week a deserve a break. What is that all about! My healthy eating should not get put on hold for a weekend. I guess the next time I see the doctor I can tell him that I take care of myself 5 out of 7 days a week.

I anticipated that this past weekend would be bad, because it was a holiday and I got Friday off!

Well, I am very proud to say that I was so encouraged by last week's Weight Watchers meeting, that I tracked Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday!! I ate a bunch of my weekly PointsPlus, but I still tracked them on my phone!

If you are like me and have trouble tracking, I hope that you can be encouraged by the meeting summary below.

Here is the Meeting Summary from April 19, 2011.

In the meeting room this week we talked about the importance of tracking. We could all agree that when we track and follow the program…we lose weight. We also agreed that when you don’t track we usually do not lose weight and we end up eating more than usual.

Sometimes it helps to identify which type of tracker we tend to be. Read through the following list and decide which category best suits you:

1. Socialite -- Write everything down, except for social events--too hard to count
2. Weeker -- Tracks EVERYTHING during the week but forget about the weekend. Too disorganized.
3. The Amnesiac -- Writes it down at the end of the day. Often wakes up in the middle of the night remembering something they forgot to track.
4. The Traveler -- Doesn't track on vacations, while visiting family, while visiting friends, on road trips, while out of town, any time they are away from home.
5. The Unforgettable -- Keeps all the information in their head-until they forget it.
6. The Clicker -- Doesn't like to write it down but will use the clicker or the calculator to keep track of PointsPlus.
7. Healthy Pen -- Only writes down the healthy choices. Doesn't record treats, BLT's or things of higher PointsPlus values. If you don't write it, it doesn't really happen.
8. Automatic -- Writes it down as soon as they eat it.
9. Planner -- Writes it down before they even eat it. Knows what they will have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
10. Day-Timer -- Writes during the day but slips as the day progresses.

Have you ever found yourself being guilty of falling into many of those categories? We have to decide if losing weight is important to us and if it is we know that in order to finally lose that weight we have got to follow the program, count pointsplus values, and TRACK.

So what is it going to take in order for you to become more committed to tracking and to your weight loss? Would it be reasonable to want to become the automatic tracker or the planner tracker? Of the above 10 choices, these types of trackers are going to be the most successful.

Remember to hold yourself accountable for every little thing that goes in your mouth. All of the Bites Licks and Tastes add up! 40 calories here, 60 calories there all add up to pointsplus that are not being documented on your tracker.

Two main sayings I want you to remember are:
1. If it goes in your smacker it goes on your tracker!
2.What you eat in private shows up in public.

If you are one of those closet eaters (who eat great when everyone is watching and then binge when no one is around) you are not fooling anyone and you definitely are not fooling the scales!

This next week really take the time to recommit to your weight loss goals and focus harder on tracking. If you mess up and you eat more than you anticipated… Don’t dwell on what you cannot change, instead just pick up the next day and start over fresh. Learn to forgive yourself and really learn from the experience. You might also do a little activity to earn some activity pointsplus to help make up what you have already spent.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cook Once, Eat All Week


Like many of you, Jon and I have very busy schedules right now. We have Bible study on Sunday night, I work for Weight Watchers on Tuesday night, I teach a different Bible study on Wednesday night, we hangout with friends on Thursday night, we go grocery shopping on Friday night, and once a month I work for Weight Watchers on Saturday morning. Yikes!!

Please do not misunderstand me...I am not trying to complain. However, it just makes for a very long week. This busy schedule that we are sporting for the next several weeks means that I have to be very intentional about the meals I cook.

Maintaining my weight loss is a priority in my life. I try to put it and myself before these other things. I find that by making my menu at the beginning of each month, I am able to know what we are going to have for dinner without thinking about it too much!

Below is a Weight Watchers article from their Cook Once, Eat All Week series, that I found extremely helpful. This is a great idea for people like me, who are busy and trying to stay on plan.

Cook Once, Eat All Week: Soups, Chilies and Stews
From: Weight Watchers
Article By: Melissa Sperl

All day long, you watch what you eat. But then when it comes time to make supper, you're so hungry, tired and frazzled that you can't help but snack while you cook. It's hard to stay on plan when you're busy and your stomach is rumbling!

Sound familiar? Nibbling while you're preparing dinner is a common phenomenon, but that doesn't mean it has to undermine your weight-loss efforts. The trick is planning ahead so you eliminate the stress and effort of having to fix a meal at the last minute.

That's why, with the help of an expert chef and a nutritionist, we've created the Cook Once, Eat All Week series. We'll give you great recipes and tell you what you need to know to prepare an entire week's worth of dinners, plus some leftovers for lunch, in just a couple of hours over the weekend.

So, this weekend, spend a couple of hours shopping, chopping, cooking and storing. It'll go by faster than you think (especially if your family will be around to help). Next week, when it's a breeze to stay on plan, you'll be glad you did it!

Cooking on the weekend: It's worth it
You'd rather spend the weekend relaxing, you say? Look at it this way: If you plan ahead, combine prep steps, and store well, you can get most of an entire week's worth of cooking done in one afternoon. That means more time to relax during the busy workweek, when you really need it to help you stay on Plan.

There are five recipes in total, enough for a week's worth of dinners. Here's what on the menu:
* Layered Mexican Chicken
* Vegetable-Peanut Stir-Fry
* Green Beans With Caramelized Onions and Dill
* Tri-Color Pesto Rotini
* Green Bean, Pearl Onion and Dill Frittata

Step 1: Prepare
This weekend, after you've taken your shopping list to the grocery store and gotten all the ingredients you'll need, make the chicken, the stir-fry, the green beans and the pesto rotini. Save time on chopping by cutting up the veggies for the stir-fry and the pasta all at once.

Step 2: Store
The Layered Mexican Chicken can be stored for up to five days in the fridge (perfect) — just cover it with a casserole dish cover or aluminum foil. For extra plan-ahead power, make two batches. Freeze the second batch in individual portions for four to six months; on days you know you'll have no time to make dinner, just transfer them to the fridge in the morning so they'll be defrosted when you get home.

The pasta is fridge-friendly for a week, too. And the stir-fry and green beans will stay fresh in the fridge for up to three days.

Step 3: Enjoy
Our recipes will give you plenty of food for multiple meals that you can mix and match according to your eating habits, your plans and the size of your family.

We've even anticipated that you might want to take some of the food to work for healthy lunches. There are lots of ways to do it: Take some of the pasta to work in a plastic container — the rotini is hot when you first make it, but it can be eaten as a cold pasta salad, too. The stir-fry would be good rolled up into a tortilla and enjoyed as a lunchtime wrap. Feel free to add grilled chicken strips for a heartier midday meal.

The green beans are a perfect side dish for the Mexican chicken, and they can be eaten cold at lunchtime, too. Just make sure you save some to make the super-easy frittata mid-week.

What you do with the dishes you make is entirely up to you. But here's a sample plan for a family of four, assuming one portion per person:
* Sunday: Cook for the week. Enjoy Stir-Fry for dinner.
* Monday's dinner: Mexican Chicken with Green Beans on the side.
* Tuesday's dinner: Finish up Stir-Fry.
* Wednesday's dinner: Make Frittata with leftover green beans (it only takes 30 minutes!). You can store the leftovers for up to two days.
* Thursday's dinner: Pesto Rotini. Enjoy with some bagged baby carrots on the side.
* Friday's dinner: Mexican Chicken. Accompany with steamed veggies of your choice.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Women and Heart Disease


Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.

Women, work, stress, and heart disease: 5 ways to protect yourself

Harvard researchers have uncovered strong links between women’s job stress and cardiovascular disease. Findings from the Women’s Health Study (WHS) — a landmark inquiry into disease prevention involving more than 17,000 female health professionals — show that women whose work is highly stressful have a 40% increased risk of heart disease (including heart attacks and the need for coronary artery surgery) compared with their less-stressed colleagues. The results, which were presented at an American Heart Association meeting in 2010, also showed that women who worry about losing their jobs are more likely to have high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels and to be obese. These findings are especially distressing in the current economic climate.

The researchers used a definition of “job strain” that combines psychological demand and degree of control. Demand refers to the amount, pace, and difficulty of the work. Control means the ability to make work-related decisions or be creative at work.

More evidence
The WHS wasn’t the only source of bad news about work stress and heart problems in women. A large 15-year study of nurses in Denmark concluded that the greater the work pressure, the higher the risk for heart disease among women ages 51 and under. And in a study of white-collar workers in Beijing, job strain was associated in women (but not in men) with increased thickness of the carotid artery wall, an early sign of cardiovascular disease.

Possible mechanisms
The body is programmed to react to life-threatening stress (“The house is on fire!”) with a “fight-or-flight” response, in which the brain triggers a cascade of chemicals and hormones that speed the heart rate, quicken breathing, increase blood pressure, and boost the amount of energy (sugar) supplied to muscles. Unfortunately, the body does a poor job of discriminating between grave, imminent dangers and less momentous ongoing sources of stress, such as financial difficulties, job strain, and even worries about potential problems that haven’t yet arisen. When the fight-or-flight response is chronically in the “on” position, the body suffers.

It’s unclear how job strain causes cardiac problems. The stress may aggravate inflammation in coronary arteries, leading to blood clots that can trigger a heart attack. Stress also makes it harder to practice heart-healthy habits, such as exercise, a good diet, not smoking, and adequate sleep. It’s hard to tell what proportion of heart attack risk is due to psychological stress as opposed to, say, smoking or lack of exercise. And some women may be predisposed (genetically or from early life experience) to react less effectively than others to stressors. We’ll learn more about these matters as research into women’s unique risks for heart disease continues.

What can you do?
The stress induced by excessive demands and too little control is not unique to the workplace. Many women have multiple concurrent jobs — for example, caring for children, aging parents, or other relatives while running a household and working outside the home — often without the resources to manage them all. Situations like this may be unavoidable, and in a tight job market, you may feel there’s little you can do to make your work life less stressful. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take, including these:
1. Foster mutually supportive relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.
2. Get regular exercise. It’s good for the heart, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep.
3. Limit intrusions (such as work-related e-mails) on your life outside of work.
4. Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, or visualization.
5. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek help from a mental health professional.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recipe Review: Berry Cobbler

Last Friday, we invited some friends over for a spur of the moment game night. I knew that this was the perfect time to try making this Berry Cobbler. Not only is it easy, but I could also get some really honest feedback about the recipe. I am glad that my friends do not mind being guinea pigs for the sake of my blog!

I put this cobbler together in no time. It made my entire house smell wonderful. We ate dinner and finally dished up the cobbler with ice cream and it was a hit! Everyone enjoyed eating it! It is safe to say that this recipe is a keeper.

You will need three ingredients. That's it!

First spray your 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Then pour your berries into the pan.

Spread the berries out so that they are all evenly dispersed.

Add dry cake mix over the top. The recipe calls for a white cake mix, but all I had was french vanilla.

Pour soda slowly over cake mix.

DO NOT stir the cake mix and the pop - this will give you a 'crust'.

This is what your cobbler will look like before you put it in the oven.

Bake 350 for 45-50 min. This is what it looks like when it is finished.

I ate my Berry Cobbler with a 1/2 cup of No Sugar Added Blue Bell Country Vanilla ice cream.  It was so good!

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Berry Cobbler
Source: srkautz
Servings: 16
Serving Size: 1/16th
Calories: 140.4
Fat: 2.9 g
Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 1.4 g
Old Points: 3 pt
Points+: 4 pts+
Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries/peaches
1 box white cake mix
Approximately 1 can of diet 7-up or other clear soda 
(might need more than 1 can of soda to avoid dry spots) 

Place frozen fruit in a 9x13 baking dish. Add dry cake mix over the top. Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the soda  - this will give you a 'crust'. If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping. 
Bake 350 for 45-50 min or longer until berries are cooked. 
*To read more Berry Cobbler tips, please click here and/or read the comments posted below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Planning Ahead

Last week in the Made to Crave Bible study I am teaching Lysa TerKeurst talked about counting the costs...literally.

Lysa explained that if anything tempts us that before giving in and eating it we should do the math. Taking time to count how calories or pointsplus+ that milkshake will cost us. Then calculating how many minutes or hours it would take to work off that milkshake.

When we see it laid out in front of us like that, suddenly that milkshake is no long appealing, because we know we would have to workout for 4 hours to burn the entire thing off!

Last Friday's Hungry Girl email about "Restaurant & Supermarket Shockers!" was a perfect example and just too good, not to share with you!!

At the end of March, my co-workers and I went to the Olive Garden for lunch. Before our lunch I went to the Olive Garden website to create a plan of what I was going to eat. I calculated the pointsplus+ on my favorite dishes, trying to decide what was going to fill me up, taste good, and be low in pointsplus+.

When all was said and done, I decided on this...
Grilled Chicken Spiedini (lunch portion) - 5 pointsplus+
Zuppa Toscana for - 3 pointsplus+
Total Meal - 8 pointsplus+

I am so thankful that I went to the Olive Garden with a plan!

The day of our lunch came and many of my co-workers choose the Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sautéed Chicken. Sure it looked good, but I knew it would ruin my pointsplus+ plan for the day. I stuck with what I had planned and was happy that I had not given into temptation!

Do you want to know what dish was on the Hungry Girl Springtime Restaurant Shockers list?

That's right the Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sautéed Chicken! Take a look at that stats listed below and what Hungry Girl has to say about this dish.

Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sautéed Chicken
PER SERVING (1 order): 1,530 calories, 107g fat, 1,940mg sodium, 76g carbs, 7g fiber, sugars n.a., protein n.a. -- PointsPlus™ value of at least 35*

The first thing you might think when you see this dish? "Did someone drop a couple of cheese Danishes on my chicken?" And here's the kicker -- this chicken version of the meal is even heavier than the beef option! Uhhhh... WOW. Skip it and order the Herb-Grilled Salmon (510 calories, 26g fat); at least the fat from the fish is the good-for-you kind. Click here for more need-to-know info about Olive Garden!

It is a good thing that I stuck to my plan, because 35 pointsplus+ for one dish is NOT worth it to me! From now on, I will continue to plan ahead like this!

If your do not get the daily Hungry Girl email you should visit their website and sign up here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finding More Me Time = Success


Here is the Meeting Summary from April 12, 2011.

Now…we all know that overworking ourselves can cause a lot of unneeded stress and can be detrimental to our weight loss journey. Find a way this next week to really put your needs up at the top of the list.

Find More Me Time Every Day

The minute you get up for a little "me" time - read a book, make a phone call - your family, your office, your parents are all at your heels like newborn pups. Here's how to teach the people in your life a new trick: how to let you be you for a bit.

Do you wish scientists were already cloning people? Then they could make a Superwoman version of you to handle the chores, bills and nine-to-five commitments, while you take a little deserved time out to pamper yourself.

Most of us live each day barely one step ahead of our commitments. Unfortunately, being chronically busy is a fast track to burn-out.

Here are some tips that will help you add an hour to every day:

In the morning:
• Get up earlier and go for a walk, so your evening is free to relax after work.
• Buy groceries for tonight's dinner on your way to work, rather than on the way home - the store will be less crowded.
• Put in a load of wash and get your partner to help you hang it out. When you get home, it will be done.
• Clean one room before you go to work - by the weekend the housework will be done.
• Spend fifteen minutes soaking in an aromatherapy bath before the kids are awake. You won't oversleep anymore because you'll look forward to getting out of bed.

In transit (on the bus or train, in the carpool on the way to work):
• Write birthday cards or letters.
• Read the newspaper (and skim the headlines) or listen to a talking book.
• Work out your day's schedule.

At work:
• Take breaks - go for a walk or head to the park for lunch - you'll work far more effectively all afternoon.
• Ring ahead to check whether your doctor is running on time.
• Make a "to do" list: Then number each task in order of importance. Tackle the biggest most taxing job first and you'll feel more energized all day.
• Stop being a perfectionist. Learn where to cut corners and set times within which to complete tasks.

At night:
• Grab your cordless phone and pay bills by credit card while you stir the minestrone.
• Use your answering machine to screen calls and avoid unnecessary interruptions that eat into your night.
• Get a friend or relative to pick up the kids from baseball practice. Then do the same for them next week.
• While cooking, clean as you go.
• Let it go. Remember, nobody has ever died from an untidy house. Whereas overwork has been proven to lead to chronic fatigue, cancer, ulcers and heart attacks.

On weekends:
• Delegate jobs like unloading the dishwasher to your partner and kids.
• Food shop outside peak-hours so you don't waste time in lines. Organize a buddy system with a friend, where you buy her groceries one week and she gets yours the next.
• Cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers.
• Say no to social engagements every Friday night. Then make a date with your partner, even if you just dress up and enjoy a candlelit dinner at home - you'll feel like you've pampered yourself.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Sample Menu

Let me just start by saying that if there is anything that you ever want me to blog about or have questions about please let me know. I love hearing from my readers!! Feel free to click the “Contact Me” tab in the top left hand side of my blog. It will take you to a page with all of my contact information.

Several weeks ago I started my Living a Changed Life Facebook page. It has been fun to interact with my readers in a different kind of way! On Friday, Jaime left me a Facebook comment saying, “I would love a sample menu for a week of the foods you eat. I'm really looking for new ideas on eating healthy and I am very interested of the kinds of things you are eating for meals as well as snacks :)”

Thank you Jaime for leaving me that comment that has since inspired this blog post!

Okay, here is a look at what I eat on a daily basis.

My Sample Menu

Monday thru Friday
1 cup of cooked Oatmeal (4 PointsPlus)
2 tsp Splenda No calorie sweetener (0 PointsPlus)
16 oz of water (0 PointsPlus)
Total: 4 PointsPlus

Morning Snack:
1 granola bar normally: Special K Fruit Crisps (3 PointsPlus) or Nutri-Grain Bar (3 PointsPlus) or Fiber One Bar (4 PointsPlus)
10 oz of water (0 PointsPlus)
Total: 3 or 4 PointsPlus

Turkey Sandwich (there are a variety of ways that I make this)

Bread - 2 slices of Nature's Own Whitewheat (3 PointsPlus) or 1 Mission Carb Balance Wheat tortilla (1 PointsPlus) or 1 Orowheat Sandwich Thin (3 PointsPlus)
Turkey - 6 slices Deli Fresh Turkey Breast (1 PointsPlus)
Cheese - 1 wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese (1 PointsPlus), I spread this on my bread like you would with mayo.
Fruit - this is whatever kind of fresh fruit I have on hand, Apples, Strawberries, Banana, Kiwis, ect. (0 PointsPlus)
10 oz of water (0 PointsPlus)
Total: 3 to 5 PointsPlus

Mid-Afternoon Snack:
Yogurt - Weight Watchers Yogurt (2 PointsPlus) or Fiber One Yogurt (1 PointsPlus)
Total: 1 or 2 PointsPlus

This really depends. I have told you about our grocery experiments in February and in March.

At the end of March I planned a new menu for April. I decided what meals we would eat for the month of April, so that I would only have to go to the store twice a month. This is in an effort to help save us money.

If it is helpful I can start posting our dinner menu list each month, just let me know.

In the last three months we have had things like:
Skinny Sloppy Joes
Taco Junk
Shepard's Pie
Chicken Ropa Vieja
Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
Meatloaf Muffins
3 Bean Turkey Chili
Chicken & Rice
Easy Beef Enchiladas
Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Crock Pot Chicken Chili
Homemade Pizza
Tomato Pepper Lasagna
Bubble Up Enchilada
Total: 4 to 8 PointsPlus

Evening Snack:
I really like snacking at night time so I leave a lot of room for this.
1 cup of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios (3 PointsPlus)
38 Veggie Straws or Apple Straws (3 PointsPlus)
Total: 6 PointsPlus

Daily Total: 29-33 PointsPlus

Saturday and Sunday
1 cup of cooked Oatmeal (4 PointsPlus)
2 tsp Splenda No calorie sweetener (0 PointsPlus)
16 oz of water (0 PointsPlus)
Total: 4 PointsPlus

Lunch and Dinner:
The weekends are made up of leftovers from whatever we ate earlier that week. If we eat out at all during the week it is usually on the weekends, so I try to plan ahead for that.

Daily Total: 29-33 PointsPlus 

I hope that this was helpful, let me know if you have any questions about anything.

Saturday, April 16, 2011



Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.

Foods that Fuel
By: Cooper Clinic Nutrition

While carbohydrates sometimes get a bad rep, they are a great source of fuel food. Carbs are imperative for muscle, brain, and nervous system function. Read more about picking the right carbohydrates and how they can fuel our system to a top performance.
As a dietitian, I know that power comes from more than just good genetics; it comes from food fuel, commonly known as carbohydrates.

Carbs have unfairly been given a bad reputation. Some people believe carbohydrates are the culprit for weight gain. More often, weight gain is the result of too many calories total and too little exercise. An adequate intake of carbohydrates are necessary for muscle, brain, and nervous system function.

After you realize that carbs do have health benefits, you need to understand which carbs are the best options.

Picking the Right Carbs
We can and should discriminate when making food choices in the carb category. Choose complex, whole grain carbohydrates whenever possible. This includes foods such as whole-grain spaghetti, potatoes, corn, cereals, and other whole grain products. It is recommended that we get in three servings of whole grains a day, and unfortunately only one in nine Americans is currently meeting that recommendation.

So now you are ready to move forward with adequate carbohydrates on your plate. You might get a measuring cup and see what ½ cup or 1 cup looks like on your plates at home to help with portion accountability. You can take that carbohydrate “mental snapshot” out to the restaurants with you as well and be better able to stay on track with your health and wellness goals.

The following are some favorite complex carbohydrate choices – try some!
1. Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat. It is high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables or lean protein.

2. Beans really are good for the heart! They are loaded with fiber and are a good, low-fat source of carbohydrates, protein and potassium.

3. Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the starchy vegetable family and are high in vitamin A.

Moderation is Key
The other kind of carbohydrate to consume (in moderation) is simple carbohydrates. These are found in sweets like honey and sugar. These foods lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar, followed by a decline in blood sugar and subsequently, less energy.

In addition, high doses of concentrated sweets can draw fluid into the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to dehydration, cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Fruits are considered simple carbohydrates, however, they are rich in fiber and nutrients and low in calories. We do not put them in the same category at the other simple carbohydrates.


If you want to improve your energy level, consider small amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day balanced with lean protein and some healthy fat. We can improve our focus and lower our level of distraction by keeping blood sugar levels consistent that way.

And don't forget that portion size matters, even when it comes to healthy foods. You can take more liberties when eating simply prepared vegetables, but you should be aware of the volume of other foods and strive for sensible portion.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Potential Hairstyles

I need a haircut!

Okay, so I am not sure if I should really be blogging about my need for a haircut, but that is what’s on my mind. Right now, my hair is the longest it has ever been in my whole entire life!!

It is so pretty. To be honest, I cannot believe that I have had the patience to let it get this long. I am unsure about what to do with my hair that I have just let it get longer and longer, it won’t be too much longer before I start looking like cousin it.


Just kidding!

The other reason that I let my hair get really long is because I live in Texas. The humidity here is ridiculous and does not do anything good for my hair. I always end up looking like a Chiapet, because my hair just grows and grows the second I step outside.

It is slowly starting to warm up and before you know it summer will be here! I am not sure if I can have my hair this long all summer. I do not want to keep it this long if I will just end up wearing it up, because it is so hot. I feel like my hair has looked the same for the majority of my life and having it longer is something new for me. But, shouldn’t I just cut it? Oh!...I don't know!

I need a haircut, but do I get a trim and keep it longer? Or do I cut it off?

In anticipation that I would be getting my haircut soon, I looked all over the internet and found several hairstyles that I like. Please let me know what you think.

Which hairstyle do you like for me?

Hairstyle #1

Hairstyle #2

Hairstyle #3

Hairstyle #4

I will let you know what I finally decide on!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recipe Review: Bubble Up Enchilada

Jon and I really enjoy eating Mexican food. It can be very challenging to find recipes for Mexican food that are points plus+ friendly and taste good.

Like many of my recipes, I found this one on the Weight Watchers message boards. It was a recipe that was always re-posted by other people. I knew it had to be good if people were always recommending it!

The ingredients you will need are refrigerator biscuits, shredded cheese, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, and ground turkey or lean ground beef.

First I cooked my lean ground beef, because that is all I had. I also added some taco seasoning to the ground beef, because I know that my husband enjoys very flavorful food. After the meat is finished cooking you can add you tomato sauce.

After, stirring in the tomato sauce, I then added the enchilada sauce and mixed all of that together.

Take your refrigerator biscuits out of the container and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.

Once you have finished cutting the refrigerator biscuits into quarters, add them to the meat mixture.

Stir everything together before putting it in your pan.

Add the meat mixture to the pan and bake for 25 minutes.

When the first timer goes off, add your shredded cheese to the top and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

This is what it looks like when it is finished!

It tasted so good that my husband was very quick to tell me that I could make this again!!

. . . . . . . . . .
Bubble Up Enchilada
Source: ATTY2DE

1 pound ground turkey
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 can reduced fat refrigerator biscuits
1 ¼ cups shredded low fat Mexican Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown turkey and drain if needed. Mix in a can of enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture. Then you just dump it all in a greased casserole and bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

You can make this into 6 or 8 servings.

Serves 8 = 5 Points Plus+
Serves 6 = 7 Points Plus+


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