Saturday, January 31, 2009

Calorie Sticker Shock?

I just found this article (from July 2008) about New York requiring food establishments to post the calories for any food they sell in the same size and font as the price!

This is BRILLIANT. Wouldn't you love to be able to see this when you go out someplace?

I know I would. Man, I want this in Milwaukee.

Tell me what ya think... would you like this where you live?

The thing that most amazed me about this article was not the law. It was the part about the woman who ate at TGI Fridays and was all pissed off that they'd done it. (By the way, the fines start at $2000 if these places don't comply.) She saw the menu and that many of the meals were over 2000 calories each, and one of the desserts was 1500 calories. She said, "I wish they wouldn't have done this," and then asked if they had any of the old menus without the calorie count on them! Talk about denial. Seriously? You'd rather eat foods and have no idea how bad they are for you? Or, you know how bad they are for you, but you somehow think you'll feel better just blindly eating these foods without the facts in front of you? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. We should be HAPPY with this kind of information. Sheesh!

So... Anybody reading live in New York? How do you like it? Do you find it helps you stay on track with healthy eating?

You really don't know what is in the food you get at some places. A muffin could cost you 630 calories. When getting your morning coffee, I bet that would keep you from buying it.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Favorite Searches

I have to share with you guys some of the awesome key word searches people type in that lead them to my blog.

"evil mcdonalds cheeseburger meal"

"fat the girl bubble butt"

"mcdonalds is evil"

There are a lot of funny ones, so I'll share them as they come in on a regular basis.

Gotta love Google! :)~


Food Obsession

Okay, so -- I wanted to post a blog about food obsession. I'm curious to know who else besides me has it.

I'm obsessed with food. Not in the way that I'll sit down and eat the entire contents of my fridge if I'm not on plan, though some people go through that. I've never thought of myself as a binge eater, but I can remember the days when I could order chinese and plow through a pu pu platter, egg drop soup, and an entire order of pad thai. Or order a pizza and eat it all in one sitting. The term "binge eating" never really occurred to me.

I also am not obsessed in the way a bulemic person is, where I eat for the pleasure of it in mass bingeing quantities, and then purge myself so I can do it all again. Nor am I obsessed in the way anorexics can be, limiting myself to a very low number of calories, cutting my food into tiny pieces so it takes longer to eat, and making each meal a ritual.

But, I'm obsessed in probably every other way. I do obsess over the amount of calories I consume. Though it's not my keeping it at 500 calories or less, it's 1400 calories or less. I cringe when I go out to eat because I have no idea how the meal is prepared, and I try to look up nutritional information before I go out so I can choose the lowest calorie option.

I watch movies and television... and I always notice what people are eating. I go to the food court with Dan and watch people and what they order. Skinny people ordering six inch, respectable sub sandwiches, and heavy people ordering pizza, fries, burgers and other "bad" stuff. (Of course, that's not accurate. It's just what I notice when I'm looking through my diet eyes.)

I get really jealous when I see people who are thin, fit, slender, whathaveyou who eat whatever they want. I get jealous when I see people who are on "diets" and have a "cheat day." I get really pissed at Michael Phelps because of his 15,000 calorie diet. Though I'm not jealous of his swimming schedule... just the pure thought of eating all that food and remaining hot makes me think it has to be worth it. It also makes me question whether food and diet can really be 80% of the battle.

I log everything I consume faithfully into my spreadsheets and MyPlate at I strive for each meal to be as close to 40/30/30 as possible. (40% good carb, 30% fat, 30% protein), or trying to exceed that protein in lieu of fat. I analyze everything I'm eating to make sure it's the healthiest, best option possible. And I do NOT have a "cheat" day. I don't even have a "cheat meal." I don't believe in that. Not right now, at least. I can't have one day of the week where I can eat whatever I want. It'll throw my whole game off balance. And I know when I lost weight on Atkins, I got skinny and thought, "Ooh, good! I can have cheesecake now, I'm hot!" And it all went downhill from there. As far as I see it, for myself, a commitment is a commitment, and I can't achieve my goals without it.

I cook non stop, and have more dishes to wash than I ever thought possible. I struggle to find measuring cups and measuring spoons because I use them every time I make a meal.

I no longer eat the following: White bread, refined sugar, baked goods, ice cream, white noodles, white rice (except for sushi on occasion), regular soda, fast food, fries, any milk other than 1% or skim, chips.

I scoff haughtily at the line I see at the drive through, thinking "Those people are eating so badly" even though myself, I was doing the same thing less than three months ago.

The food obsession can make me feel exhausted, pathetic, desperate, and hopeless sometimes. Other times it makes me feel happy, in control and successful. Sometimes it makes me feel downright full of myself.

I look forward to the ever-balanced day where food is just food. When food is merely fuel, and I mix the types to make the best, ultimate, premium fuel for my premium, muscle building, fat burning furnace of a body.


Breaking the Negative Self Talk Cycle

So, I was reading up at Scale Junkie today and decided to take the challenge to write down ten positive things about myself.

"Big whoop, we do that on facebook every day when we get tagged."

Yeah, well... for "normal", non food-obsessed folks, it's a little easier. When you get caught in the yo-yo-diet trap and are constantly obsessing over your numbers, weight, flaws, flab and fatness, it gets progressively more and more difficult.

As time moves along I find myself engaging in self hate talk and thoughts. "I'm so fat." "Yeah, look at these thunder thighs!" "I couldn't fit into that in 100 years." "I'm so disgusting."

And it continues. Now, it's not that it happens all the time, but it happens a lot. Nobody's partner should have to continually say, "You're not fat." Especially one who calls you beautiful all the time. :)

So. Here I go.

* When I have clear rules, I'm REALLY good at following an eating plan.
* I try to exceed my trainer's expectations, and usually do
* I keep a good sense of humor, even if I fail
* I am a loving partner and loving kitty momma
* I have a capacity to learn and will seek new information daily
* I can read 100 pages an hour, so I can read a new book almost every day
* I am a talented photographer
* I am a good writer, dammit, and I will finish my book
* I'm a good cook, and can make healthy meals for myself and Dan every day
* I feel really proud of myself and happy after I've worked out

And now I'll say what she said:

Your turn, even if it hurts, even if it causes some discomfort, write a list of positive things that are true about you. I wrote 10, you can write more or less but do at least 6 and really push yourself out of that comfort zone and look inside of yourself for this list. You don’t have to share them if you don’t want but I really REALLY hope you do! Looking a little deeper sometimes provides the push that we need.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Workout Numbers

So, today marked my third and (for the moment) final workout session with Tammy, my personal trainer. I will meet with her again in 6 weeks to modify my workout so my muscles get confused, and I don't get bored.

I wanted to share with you guys my numbers on various exercises that she has me do. This will help me track my progress later as well as share with you guys a bit of what I do at the gym. :) All of these exercises are strength training (whether weight lifting, ab/core exercises or general stuff using my body weight and a piece of equipment such as a bosu ball.) I'll post some visuals (found by google searching the exercise) so you know what they are.

Bosu side kicks = 15 reps on each side
I couldn't really find a picture for this one. So, I basically stand like she is, except with one leg off to the side. Then I push up and kick the leg on the floor to my side, and come back down to the squat pose.

Bosu 1/2 bicycle = 15 reps on each side.

Cable Row = 50 lbs/20 reps

Chest Press = 50 lbs/20 reps

Alternating Lunges = 20 reps (10 on each side)
I HATE these. Oh, and I don't put the ball out like that, I just hold it by my chest to keep better form and balance.

Captain Chair = 12 reps
This one, she said if I could do 4, she'd be happy. Boo-yah!

Lat Pull down = 45 lbs/25 reps

Overhead Press = 8 lb dumbbell/15 reps
I don't really like this photo. I start with the dumbbells lateral to my shoulders, just above the shoulders, and then finish sort of like she does, except I bring the dumbbells all the way up to nearly touching on the ends.

Arm Row = 15 lb dumbbell/12 reps on each side

Outer Thigh Machine = 130 lbs/15 reps
Inner Thigh Machine = 90 lbs/20 reps

Rope Press Down = 15 lbs/13 reps
Bye-bye change purse arms.

Cable Curls = 15 lbs/13 reps
This one makes me feel the weakest. Oh, and I use a bar, not the weird twisty bike handle lookin' things.

Miniball crunches = 20 reps
I do this, but not the twist portion.

Miniball "plank" (all fours) = 30 seconds

Foam Roller Knee Tucks = 3 reps (this one kills.)
This one starts in this position, then you roll your knees in underneath you, and then roll them back out while keeping your arms and body stationary. Ouch!

Foam Roller Miniball Crunches = 20 reps
This is the closest photo I could find. Basically I'm laying on the foam roller like he is except with my feet on the ground. And instead of holding another foam roller, I'm holding a mini ball. From there, I lift my shoulders and head off of the foam roller while extending the ball out toward the ceiling.

Side double Leg Lifts = 15 reps on each side

Butterfly, Figure 4, Side lying quad, Lunging hipflexor and ham/calf

For You Regular Soda Drinkers...

Did you know that losing weight could be as simple as kicking your soda habit?

Replacing a 20-ounce soft drink with water or diet soda will save you nearly 200 calories a day.

That's 21 pounds in a year!

Frickin' Delicious Hamburgers

Also known as "Meat Patties," which sounds disgusting... these hamburgers rocked our faces off.

I served these on Natural Ovens Better Wheat Buns:
Serving Size: 1 Bun

Calories 170
Total Fat 2.5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 140mg
Total Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g

Meat Patties:
1/2 cup oatmeal or oat bran
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute (I forgot this, but they came out fine)
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground mustard (omitted for mine)
1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh minced onion
1/2 tsp salt (omitted for mine)
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey (7% fat)

Mix the first 9 ingredients. Add ground meat and mix well. Shape into four patties. Cook in the microwave, in the conventional oven, or on the grill.

Conventional Oven:
Preheat to 425 degrees. Arrange patties on a baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

Microwave Oven: Arrange meat patties in a circle, on a microwave-safe dish, leaving the center empty. Cover with wax paper and cook on high for 7-8 minutes, rotating 1/4 turn halfway through cooking time.

Grill: Cook over hot coals, turning once, until done. *I used my George Forman. Because I forgot the egg, it was super juicy and didn't stick together 100%, so I just sprayed the grill with nonstick cooking spray and it was fine. They were delicious and I saved a bit of calories too! :)

Nutritional Info:

(makes 4 servings)
222 calories
9g fat
3g saturated fat
71mg cholesterol
127mg sodium
9g carbohydrate
1g dietary fiber
2g sugar
26g protein

With these kinds of nutrition numbers... you just can't beat a delicious, juicy, healthy burger with the kind of staying power that hungry guys (and girls) need! :)

Oh, and don't forget a nice salad! :)

Romantic Night Walks

So, I think I mentioned earlier that I was watching Supersize Me last night. I love that documentary. Anyhow, Dan came home around 3am from a friend's house, and when he came in he said, "The city's asleep right now... do you want to take a walk?" Well, of course since I was watching Supersize Me I felt disgusting, so I said, "Yeah!" -- We bundled up and took a nice walk around the neighborhood in the freezing cold. It was really romantic and sweet.

Imagine my surprise when I check out Mike's blog over at Zumewalk and see this today!

HYC Weigh In


That's a 3 lb weight loss from last week.

Oh yeah, baby!

And that means, I get one of these:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut

Just a quick reminder how much fast food is grossing me out right now. I'm watching Supersize Me again. I just love it. I also ordered "Fast Food Nation" from Amazon (the book) and can't wait until it gets here. It's now been around 5 weeks since I have had fast food. That meal was a Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich and their cross cut waffle fries. *(yum...)* -- I loved it so much that I had a second grilled chicken sandwich. Chick Fil A is the healthiest fast food chain out there, according to many articles and studies I've read.

Before that, I had McDonalds sometime at the end of November. So, I'm calling it two months since I've had bad fast food, and a little over one month since any fast food at all. Not even a Diet Coke from a fast food joint. I seriously can't wait until I can say it's been a full year since I've eaten fast food! :D

I have been pretty much slacking on my working out the last few days, but still have been active over the weekend with cleaning and the Wii Fit. But I need to make sure I'm not using the Wii to allow myself not to go to the gym. I'm still paying for the membership... hellooooo!

Though, for any of you with the Wii Fit... have you tried the pushup / side plank? It's freaking hard. I also did the "bridge" and could BARELY hold for 30 seconds. That beat the hell out of my post-personal-training-workout-beating where I could only hold it for 10 seconds... but still. I should be at 1 minute for that pose. I can't wait to be in shape, have muscle definition and be able to do PULL-UPS.

Have I mentioned that's my goal? I want to be able to do at least 5 full pull-ups by this time next year.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day. See you then!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photos of the Spicy Hotness.

I have two crazy photos.

One, my friend Wes at the height of our Atkins Skinniness.

Two, me at the height of our Atkins skinniness:

That is all.

Pageant Moms and Six Year Old Beauty Queens


Dan and I were chatting about this a little bit in the car the other day and I realized that I should probably post about it.

One of the things that makes me the most upset is any parent who puts their little girl into pageants. I find it to be totally deplorable, sickening, disgusting and ridiculous, along with any other word you know of that resembles or has to do with vomit.

I mean, come on! Who wants their little girls to be so obsessed with the way they look? Being pretty, wearing SO much makeup, buying little pretty outfits.... it all makes me SICK.

I can't think of any better way to permanently fuck up your child's sense of beauty, self esteem and set of core values. I don't care if there are "talent" portions, or whatever else is involved. Little girls should NOT be put on display for beauty. What will this do to these children when they hit puberty? What kind of issues, eating disorders, social problems and mentalities are these parents setting these little girls up for? I want to punch someone.

Parents should be developing their children's minds, values, strength, health and hearts. Not their marketability.

All Diva Media did a blog about this, and the show "Little Beauties." I refuse to watch the show, but regardless... I share her sentiments exactly.


Love Shout Outs...

Y'all should definitely check out Mike over at Zumewalk if you haven't already. He has great taste.

Case and point, his most recent article on Age Control, Weight Control and Fitness! :)


The Studio Coming Alongs

So, by request I'm posting some pictures of the mid-way point of my studio. It's actually probably more like 3/4's of the way. I have put in here some super high quality drawings of what it will be like, to give you a visual.

Trust me, I'll post photos when it's all said and done! :)

The backdrop paper is mounted and up! Note the future "guy in tophat" posing for photos.

The weird things on both sides are supposed to be room dividers. These (3-panel):

That's to separate my studio from the rest of the house. (There's a separate entrance to the studio.) You can see that door on the right of this photo behind the dividers. Oh yeah, the curtains (visible in other photos) will be this really pretty deep purple/maroon color. ...It's not this color that I painted in, but hey, I did this pretty fast.:

Oh yeah, the white x's are stuff that won't be there.

So this one shows the (red representations) of those framed images that will actually on the wall, and the black thing next to it is going to be a permanent strip of black paper for quick headshots.

Yeah, boy!

And since this has nothing much to do with weight, I'll leave you with this deep thought:

Coming tomorrow... the long lost photo of my total ex hotness. I have been digging for it since we moved, and particularly since I started this blog. Get your burritos ready, 'cause it's gonna be hot.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Barbecued Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Casserole


This one was not one of our favorites... the sausage was GOOD! But, the veggies were (not) so good. Just a matter of personal taste.

If you like cooked cabbage and bell pepper, you might really like this, so I'll post it. :)

Barbecued Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Casserole
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped onion (we omitted this)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced bell pepper, red or green (I did orange! I'm a rebel.)
1 package (16 oz) low-fat turkey smoked sausage, cut into slices
1/3 cup bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Spray a 2.5 quart covered casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add all ingredients. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Totally easy!

We served this with some whole-grain bread.

Nutritional Breakdown:
203 calories
8g fat
1013mg sodium (whoa!)
17g carbohydrate
3g dietary fiber
12g sugars
15g protein

If you look for a lower sugar bbq sauce you can reduce the sugar. Also, I'd recommend looking for a natural bbq sauce... one that does NOT include high fructose corn syrup. I let Dan pick the bbq sauce, and didn't think about that until I was making it. Ugh!

I had 1/2 a head of cabbage left so I made a quick and healthy coleslaw.

Jenn's Healthy Coleslaw
1/2 small head of cabbage, shredded (roughly 5-6 cups)
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
3 tbsp apple vinegar (or vinegar of preference)
2 tsp ground flax seed (I put it in just about everything now.)
1 tbsp artificial sweetener of choice
black pepper to taste

Mix all together in a bowl and chill! :)

Also a few things I ate today and yesterday:

Whole wheat bun with Morningstar veggie burger:

Another batch of Lemon Fish (Dan asked for it!) :)

And my new power breakfast... Jenn's Egg, Spinach, Turkey and Swiss Sandwich!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Prop H8

If you live in Colorado and your name is not on this list... it should have been, especially if you are gay, or if you have gay friends or family members.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Protein Powder and a Sexy Man

I went to GNC today to get protein powder for my shakes. I stuck with sensible vanilla and chocolate. No banana or cookies and cream for me. Yuck!

Dan took me to lunch at an Italian place downtown, and it was great. I had a delicious chicken salad with baby greens, toasted walnuts, raspberries - all tossed in a yummy raspberry dressing (My favorite!)

Dan had his usual spaghetti and meatballs. :)

Gah, isn't he CUTE???? :)

He hates it when I take his picture. But then I just remind him that I'm a photographer, and that's what I do. And he usually caves in and smiles. Oy, I love him. :)

Fat Burning to the Extreme!

I just got my ever loving ass kicked at the gym again today. Tammy really pushed me perfectly to my limits, and I was completely worn out when I left. The great news is that I did more reps on some of the weights than my last visit. Plus I did 20 minutes of light cardio ahead of time, so I'm really proud of that.

I snuck a peek at the scale today (I know, bad!) - but if things look right, I should be seeing a nice loss by next Tuesday! We'll keep our fingers crossed.

I caught this article over at Amazing Body and thought I'd share it. When I saw this part, I knew it'd be good:

Don’t follow the advice of the diets that are trying
to “make a fat person get thin”…

Follow the advice of HEALTHY people who have
NEVER been fat.

That about sums it up.

(Andrew, I'm looking at you.) :)

Help me stop a tragedy.

My friend Wes is considering not continuing on with writing his blog because he doesn't get a lot of comments. Go over there and comment on his entry so he doesn't stop writing. And check out his blog regularly, too.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rolled Chicken and Asparagus

I had forgotten how much I love sweet potatoes. My Mom digs them and I can't even remember the last time I had one!

Sweet Potatoes, Baked
2 sweet potatoes (medium, similar size and shape)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Clean off the sweet potatoes, then pierce with a fork or knife in several places. Cut off the ends and brush a bit of olive oil on the tops. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft.

When finished, cut open the top of the sweet potatoes with a slit, and push the sides of the potato in (wearing oven mitts) until the insides come out the top. Top with butter, cinnamon, or any spices of your choosing. Salt, pepper, nutmeg, etc are good as well.

Rolled Chicken and Asparagus

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
24-30 asparagus spears (tough ends removed)

2 tbsp lemon juice (I used juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon)
6 green onions, chopped (omitted for my recipe)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
*I also added Ms. Dash chicken seasoning.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or turn down oven to 350 degrees if you're already baking sweet potatoes). Cut chicken into 8 or 10 strips, each about 1x5 inches long.

Wrap each strip around 2 or 3 uncooked asparagus spears. Fasten with toothpicks. Place in a covered baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. (I did a cookie sheet.) Sprinkle with lemon juice, onions and spices.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove toothpicks. Serve hot or refrigerate until chilled and serve cold.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Info:

Rolled Chicken and Asparagus:

151 calories
2g fat
82mg sodium
6g carbohydrate
3g dietary fiber
2g sugar
28g protien

Sweet Potato:
103 Calories
0g fat
41mg Sodium
541mg Potassium
24mg Total Carbohydrate
4g Dietary Fiber
20g Sugars
2g Protein
Vitamin A 384%
Vitamin C 33%
Vitamin B 120%

This is going to be a great snack for me (the leftovers.) My trainer says that every time I put something in my mouth, she wants it to be one complex carb and protein.

Speaking of which, here is one of the snacks I had today. Grapes and fat free cottage cheese: