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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Online Resources

I just created something cool. Although I don't really cook and am horrible at creating things beyond a recipe, I threw together something simple after talking to my coworker, Mickey. I crushed up 1 cup of fiber one, threw in some splenda and put it in a pie plate. Then, I added banana pudding (fat-free, sugar free) with sliced bananas on top. It was good and The Rickards got in their fiber!

Beyond my simple cooking skills, there are tons of websites that have awesome weight-reducing recipes and others that are great for research and fitness tips. I've listed a few of my favorites below. These websites are great at pointing me in the right direction and giving me new ideas and motivation.

I guess I figure if I got just the one body for the rest of my life, I'd use a bit of my spare time to research it and give it the best shot that I can. For example, the section below was taken from

"Blueberries and Aging
In a USDA Human Nutrition Research Center laboratory, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans.

In one study, Jim Joseph, director of the neuroscience laboratory in the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (HNRC), fed blueberry extractions—the equivalent of a human eating one cup of blueberries a day—to mice and then ran them through a series of motor skills tests.
He found that the blueberry-fed mice performed better than their control group counterparts in motor behavioral learning and memory, and he noticed an increase in exploratory behavior. When he examined their brains, he found a marked decrease in oxidative stress in two regions of the brain and better retention of signal-transmitting neurons compared with the control mice.

The compound that appears responsible for this neuron protection, anthocyanin, also gives blueberries their color and might be the key component of the blueberry's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries, along with other colorful fruits and vegetables, test high in their ability to subdue free radicals. These free radicals, which can damage cell membranes and DNA through a process known as oxidative stress, are blamed for many of the dysfunctions and diseases associated with aging.

These findings could become increasingly important as the U.S. population ages. It is projected that by 2050, more than 30% of Americans will be over 65 and will have the decreased cognitive and motor function that accompanies advanced age. Joseph is currently testing the effects of blueberries on humans. Preliminary results show that people who ate a cup of blueberries a day have performed 5–6% better on motor skills tests than the control group."

And, that's just blueberries! Watermelon is another superfood with crazy cool benefits. It's amazing how a diet can help or hurt us. I'm not sure my banana pudding/Fiber One creation has any super powers, but it sure tasted good and fell into Weight Watchers' Core Plan.

Oh! and if you were wondering, I was down another 1.4 pounds this week! That's just over 14.6 pounds lost in 19 weeks and I've just got another 9.8 to go. I'm movin', grovin' and having fun - thanks to the cyber help below!

Weight Watchers recipes -

Weight Watchers health (click Science Center for research and Fitness for, well, fitness) -

Self Magazine - fitness and diet stuff -

Hungry Girl - awesome recipes! -

HalfMySize - more creative recipes -

Fiber One - kitchen creativity in the form of Fiber! -

Dotti's Weight Loss Zone - also has more cool links -

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Holding On and Letting Go

We all have our stories and for me, weight happens to be the thing I deal with while I go through the trials of life. It's been a few rough weeks for me in the weight loss area. It's not that I've gained or totally fell off the healthy food wagon, *pause for that mental picture* it's just that I haven't felt successful. I found myself sabotaging my own efforts, knowingly. I would graze all night or go for the candy bars at work.

So, I finally sat myself down, looked in the mirror and started trying to figure out what my issue was. As I got closer to my goal weight in October, I sped towards it quickly. I worked out, ate right and felt great every day. So why was this time different? I thought about this weight that I'm trying to lose. I gained it while I was sick and pregnant. After the baby was gone, all I had was the weight. If I lose the weight, I'm losing the only tangible thing that was left.

However irrational that line of thought, once I got it out there and labeled it, I could deal with it. I recognize that holding on to the weight is not a way to honor that little life. I had to move on - AND, move on I did. I lost 1.6 pounds this week! Ironically, letting go of the weight is helping me to hold on.

"I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In Your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to You"

- lyrics from Broken by Lifehouse