Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for December, 2012

The Modern Dilemma,What is Your Solution?

We know that for good health, we all need to eat a good breakfast, consisting less of  the typical empty carbs, and more protein, fruit or veggies and whole grains. Lets not kid ourselves, all those breakfast cereals are lying when they say they are a good source of whole grain, unless the first ingredient is whole wheat, brown rice or just corn, although corn isn’t all that full of fiber even in it’s natural state. We also know a really good breakfast usually takes time to make, hence most people’s dilemma. How can we get a really good breakfast without taking a lot of time?

Let’s meet my mythical client. She’s 38, a working mother, normal body weight, and a type II diabetic, only using metform, for now. Her typical breakfast is either toast, cereal or nothing. I suggest an omelet, with onion, tomato, spinach and or peppers. The idea of spending that much time making breakfast is appalling to her. I suggest that most of the work could be done in the microwave, but it’s obvious she’s not convinced.

For someone like that, a smoothie would seem the perfect solution,  but it would have to be carefully crafted. For a diabetic, dumping fruit in their system first thing in the morning is hazardous. It would have to be mostly spinach or kale, with just enough fruit to sweeten, and some protein powder to dampen the effect of the fruit. For those who don’t know, for most diabetics, the effects of higher glycemic foods can be offset by consuming them with protein or fat, making them digest slower and not flood the bloodstream with glucose. This is the reason pumpkin pie doesn’t always raise blood sugar, along with the cinnamon.

Speaking of pumpkin  pie, that is another solution, baked oatmeal. You could easily add a can of pumpkin to most of the recipes, adding a serving of veggies to your breakfast. Here’s another recipe with the pumpkin already added. I would suggest not using a site like “allrecipes.com”, only because the people who post their recipes their are often more interested in taste than health, adding too much sugar. I do use that site for many things, just not health food.

One of my favorite breakfasts, outside my usual, is whip up 1/4 c. cornmeal and a cup of water in the microwave. Heat the water 2 minutes, briskly stir in the corn meal heat while watching till it thickens, stirring occasionally. Crack an egg on top,  and a slice of cheese, put back in for 30 seconds or until egg is cooked. Top with a heaping mound of salsa. Yum!

My usual breakfast, if you haven’t read my blog, is oatmeal, with dried cranberries, walnuts and blended kale, molasses, cinnamon and tumeric. I don’t recommend it to others, it is an acquired taste. The tumeric isn’t for taste, it’s for the anti- inflammatory properties, although anything you eat on a regular basis becomes an acquired taste.

Everyone wants to eat healthy, not take any time to do so, and have it taste really good, hence the title of this post. What is your solution? Share with us that we may all be enriched. Plus, even I get sick of the same breakfast all the time, and lunch suggestions would be good, I don’t always have left overs. Even if you have favorite bloggers or websites for ideas, share those too.

My Love Affair with Kale is Still Going Strong

Head of dark green kale.

A thing of beauty

How could it not?

Look at this. This was harvested from my garden on December 19, 2012. It’s still growing! Granted, this is an extremely mild winter so far, we’ve only had two hard frosts and a dusting of snow. The rest of the garden has long since gone to sleep. The broccoli might have survived, but I pulled it all up when it bolted so badly.

In case I needed reasons.

How can you not love a vegetable that is so hardy and productive, and so good for you? I had expected to be using what I had frozen by now. I have so much in my freezer that I can’t find other things. I have used some of what I froze, I made a lasagna with chopped kale instead of spinach. Believe it or not, my husband even liked it! In any case, this one vegetable, planted in a ring around the garden, has fed me every day since last spring. I have become addicted to kale added to my oatmeal. I did try the frozen in it, but it is not as nice of a texture, so the fact that those little powerhouses are still going strong makes me so happy. If it was a bad year, the deer would have eaten them all. The two days we did get snow, they immediately came in the yard and topped the whole back of the garden. I harvested a whole bunch then, assuming I was salvaging what I could before they got it all, but they haven’t been back and the rest are still growing.

Just a reminder

In case you can’t figure out why kale makes me so happy, here are some reasons, I copied this from an article on webMD:

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Ok, so maybe I should be eating more cooked kale, but I have the rest of the winter to do that.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish?

two wine glasses with sparkes and tinselNew Flash: The holidays are here

I was just listening to a podcast  that asserted that most people gain weight over the holidays, and that they don’t lose it after, so that becomes the bodies new “set point” that it defends, resisting weight loss. Since the holidays are here, and I love talking about fitness under any excuse, I thought I’d look into that. It turns out that most people overestimate the weight they gain, assuming it to be 5 lbs. In reality, most only gain about 1/2  lb of weight that stays past the initial period. The good news is, it’s less than people think. The bad news is it’s relatively permanent. Obviously, it isn’t the only time that we gain weight, since over 20 years that would be 10 lbs. How many people only have ten pounds to lose?

Ok, now that you’re thoroughly depressed. 😦

Seriously, I am just suggesting that we need to stay on top of even small increases in our weight. If you take care of the half pounds, the rest will take care of itself. and, it is so much easier to lose a few lbs than to lose a lot. Most people say: “I’ll start going to the gym after the holidays.” Or, “My New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.” Or, they don’t think about it at all, till that little black dress or the skinny jeans don’t fit. Why wait? Why does enjoying the holidays have to mean gorging yourself and avoiding exercise?


I can already hear you: “I want to be able to enjoy myself” “What’s the point if I can’t have any fun?” “What fun is life if I can’t enjoy myself?” I’m not saying you can’t have any fun. You can eat a nice dinner, have a slice of pie, or a few cookies, and a glass of wine. In return, exercise daily, don’t make that nice dinner a 2,000 calorie feast, and don’t have the pie and cookies, unless you can restrict your calories for a few days afterwards. Make every day that you are home a bit more disciplined. and then if you do blow it at a party, the results won’t be permanent. Eat a large salad first, with little to no dressing, cheese, croutons or meat on it first thing, then you won’t be so hungry, and won’t eat as much of the rest. Have a large glass of water with dinner as well. That will distend your stomach, giving you that full sensation that many people crave.

I don’t want to hear it.

I don’t want to hear the complaints if you don’t want to make the commitment. If you want to be thin, you have to do what thin people do. Right now, go in your kitchen. Are there chips in there? Cookies, crackers, cakes, pies and/or puddings? Look in your fridge.  Is there fruit and fresh vegetables in there? Weed out your kitchen. Put the things in there you want to grow, and get rid of what doesn’t help you. Never have more than one unhealthy thing in your house at a time. There are many calorie tracking websites, use them. Take an honest look at your diet and start changing it, little by little. Quit getting takeout for lunch, especially if you are eating out for dinner.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

The habits you build now last a lifetime. Which way is your weight heading this year? Then that means your habits are leading in that direction, and will continue to do so until you change them. Don’t wait for New Year, the mythical “after the holidays”. Do it now. Build good habits now. The self discipline you exercise now will grow stronger and continue over into other areas of life, and you will see the benefits in short order.

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