Monday, January 21, 2008

Healthy Living...

So, I've gotten a lot of comments and questions lately about how to stay thin. First of all...I'm flattered but I'm not really that thin people!! I think the latest pics of me were just deceiving. I've still actually got about 8 more pounds to go to be "skinny" in my eyes.

But...I am healthy. I'll give myself that. I've become very passionate about healthy living. Baby number three was hard for me to kick the weight. Like I said, I've still got 8 more pounds to go. I think the key is to really change your lifestyle and then you have to do it for a long time before it comes naturally. You HAVE to learn to enjoy it and not dread it. It wasn't until 2005 that I finally "got it". I had been on every fad diet known to man since I was 14. I had major eating issues growing up and I finally just stopped dieting and learned how to eat.So here are some tips that I've shared with other people: I'm sure it's nothing you haven't heard before...

1. I guess I just eat small portions. If it's meat or starch, I just have a palm-full of it.

2. I fill up on veggies (which I LOVE). I have at LEAST 4 servings of veggies every day. Frozen vegetables are the best invention ever. They are microwavable so they are super easy and fast to do. Just add some salt and pepper! They are also flash frozen at the peak of their nutrients so they are super healthy too. My kids love them. So are canned tomatoes! They are full of so many healthy vitamins. I'm a huge tomato fan.

3. I never eat fast food. (it's too expensive anyway) It actually makes me feel slow and sick when I do eat it. Once you've been eating healthy for a while, you will start to not be able to tolerate those kinds of foods anymore. You'll notice your body reacting to them differently. If you do need to eat food on the run, there are actually lots of healthy alternatives on fast food menus now, namely salads. Just watch the dressing...

4. I keep a pre-packaged and pre-washed salad mix in my fridge at all times for easy, fast lunches. I usually get the spring mix. The darker the green, the healthier it is for you. Throw a little handful of crasins and a cut-up apple along with fetta cheese and a little seasame seed dressing and it makes an amazing lunch. If I have left-over chicken from the night before, I throw that in there too. If my kidos are having dino-bites for lunch, I'll cut up two of them, boil an egg and grab some of the peas and corn they are eating and throw them in my salad too for a cobb salad. Just watch the Ranch dressing.

5. I rarely ever eat bread and if I do, it's either whole grain or a small serving of it. I really don't crave it that much any more. It's not worth the calories.

6. I really watch what I drink...I've forced myself to love water. It took a while but I love it now. It really is the best thing possible for your body. I usually always grab a water bottle when I'm running around town to make sure I get my daily intake in. Keep water bottles in the fridge! You are more likely to drink it if it's cold. I don't really like soda. It's not good for you anyway and so not worth the calories. If I do crave a soda, I'll drink it once in a blue moon but I'll only drink it if it's diet. (By the way...even if it is diet, it's still not good for you.) Crystal Light is good too if you can't stand water. Wal-Mart has some really good generic brand flavors with no calories. My only device is Sangria (the non-alcoholic kind, of course!) I'll drink it once in a VERY blue moon. Maybe once every month and a half. You can cut so many calories a day by just watching what you really is amazing.

7. I eat lots of fish. Especially salmon. It's wonderful for your skin and has so many powerful nutrients in it.

8. I don't deprive myself of sweets either. I just have to tell myself to wait and eat it until the appointed time. I also don't deprive myself when I go to a party or something where there are yummy sweets and eats. I dig right in, but in small portions. How often do you go to parties anyway? I allow myself a small dessert every night(nothing over 150 calories. I try and keep it between 100 and 150.) and I usually have a Hershey kiss or small candy during the day, after lunch. I end up binging if I feel deprived.

9. Here's a big one: Between 3:00 and dinner time, I try and keep myself super busy because that is the most horrible craving time of the day for me and usually that's when I grab for something sweet. I HAVE to have a small snack of fruit or something or I binge on sweets. If I still feel hungry after having a snack, I tell myself: "Just wait until dinner! You will be so happy you did.". Also, those hunger pains tell me that I'm loosing weight. They probably aren't hunger pains anyway, just cravings. I appreciate my dinner so much more this way... :)

10. The biggest thing for me is to REALLY appreciate the food that I do eat. I appreciate the colors, smells, textures, everything about it. I've become somewhat of a food snob. I LOVE food. It's become my friend and hobby instead of my enemy. It has to be fantastic for me to eat it. I don't eat crappy chocolate or eat my kid's mac 'n cheese. It's not worth it. My grocery bill has gone up a tiny bit, with all the produce but it's worth it to stay healthy and to teach my kids healthy eating habits too.

11. I've gotten very addicted to cooking shows and have become strangely fascinated with how food cooks, how it reacts to other foods, the different flavors, different colors. I love trying new recipes. By the way...stay away from watching Paula Deen! She has great recipes but there is a pound of butter in each one! You can watch the shows to get tips on how to cook different foods and then start experimenting with stuff yourself. All the recipes are on Add things to them, take stuff that you don't like out of them. I alter every recipe I get off of the Foodnetwork website - just so I can say it's "my recipe". :) I have a ton of yummy, healthy recipes that I can share with you all. I will make sure to post them little by little. It takes a while to type them up because I never measure anything and I have to remember what I put in each recipie. :)

12. I also run. I was just speed walking because of my knee but I got a brace and I've actually got up to running now on my treadmill. I watch my cooking shows while I run...good motivation huh? If I had to do it outside with 3 kids to bundle up, I would never do it. I LOVE my treadmill. Well worth the investment tword my health. You can find cheap ones at Wal-Mart. Usually I'll do 2 miles at least 3 times a week. I used to NEVER run before but once I did, I can't go more than a couple days without craving it. I started VERY slowly. 10 min. a day then worked myself up from there. I asked for a treadmill at the end of 2004 for my birthday/Christmas. (I told my husband that I needed to follow the word of wisdom :) He seriously doubted that I would use it but I totally proved him wrong! I use it ALL the time. You have to get good running shoes too though. It really is so much harder on you if you don't have good running shoes. You have to go to a running store to get them and they cost about $90.00 but they are VERY worth the investment. I had back problems and would always get shin splints, then my chiropractor told me I needed better shoes. They made a WORLD of difference. -You also need to streach really well before working out. Running is so much better on your body if you've streached first. I also have a Denise Austin "Shrink your female fat zones" video that I love. It helps me feel stretched out and lean. It's only 20 min. and only $13.00. (Plus the two 5 lb. weights that you need.) I do it in between running days. I've actually completed 2 5Ks since I started running and plan to do some more in the spring. That is a huge accomplishment for someone that used to HATE to excersize. I never thought I would get to this place.

13. When you play with your kids at the park or at home...really play hard! Run around, chase them, let them chase you, play on the jungle gym. Your kids will LOVE it, they will be ready for a nap, you have burned tons of calories...everybody is happy.

14. One thing I'm really trying to stick to but not doing a very good job at is not eating past 7:45. I heard it does miracles and I know if I followed that rule, I would loose the weight instantly. I'm trying... Your body just absorbs everything instead of trying to work it off after that time because that's when I just want to sit around with my hubby.

15. Another weird tip that really does work...brush your teeth after everything you eat or when you crave something you shouldn't eat. If you've got that mint taste in your mouth, you are less likely to finish your kid's lunches and just mindlessly pop stuff in your mouth.

16. Just remember...moderation in all things! You can eat it, just wait until the right time. If you mess up, just jump back on the healthy band wagon.

Once you eat healthy and excersize for a while and change your habits, your body will feel stronger, your hormones will stay in check, your skin will look better. It's how our bodies should be. This world has gotten so into fast food and huge portions. It's so not healthy. Don't go overboard either. Make sure you are getting at LEAST 900 (healthy) calories a day. Anything below that is unhealthy.

I hope these tips work for you guys. Stiving to be healthy instead of skinny really is the best way to live. Now that I've got the healthy part down, I can work on the skinny by upping my running time and not eating past 7:45.