Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How to Escape Obesity

I wish someone would write a manual on how to escape obesity. I wish there was a magic 12-step program that was guaranteed to result in my being thin in a few weeks. But there isn't. Some people say losing weight is simple: eat less calories than you burn. Eat less, move more. Other people say it is complicated: you must eat x servings of these foods daily... you must bring your heart rate up to x beats per minute for x minutes every day... you must never eat x, y and z. There are so many books, websites and formulas for weight loss that it boggles the mind. And yes all of these plans work for SOME people. But what will work for ME?

I want to be noticably thinner. I want to feel tremendously better. Finally after years of working and going to school, I am now a stay-at-home mother and I have the time to focus on my health. Here are the things I am doing, as of right now, to heal my body:

1. Drink water. I keep a pitcher of filtered water out, and I drink a tall glass first thing when I get up in the morning, one with every meal and snack, and any other time I think about it. I also make sun tea in a gallon jar on my deck. I use about 11 tea bags (I use some Lipton black decaf tea bags, and some Mandarin Orange Decaf Green Tea bags). I add 3T of sugar to the gallon jar (and I am cutting back on that... I started out with 1/2c sugar per gallon and have cut back gradually). I drink this tea iced with meals or when I feel like it. It has replaced iced coffee and sodas for me.

2. Eat healthy foods, not junk. I threw out all the chips, cookies, candy, ice cream. I stocked up on whole grains, lean protein, and produce. What I mainly eat is:
Protein: salmon, tuna, other fish 1-2x a week; white meat turkey and chicken breast, lean ground turkey and turkey sausages. Once in awhile I buy a pork loin or other lean pork for dinner. Occasionally I have lean beef (buffalo is better). I eat some nuts every day (all kinds), beans, lentils, and some soy "burgers". If I am out to lunch I get a Veggie Burger or chicken or a salad.
Dairy: lowfat cheese, skim milk ONLY, fat free yogurt in smoothies, light sour cream.
Produce: fresh fruits and veggies of all kinds which I get from the local farmer's market where I shop once a week. I will miss it when winter comes! I also have in the freezer plenty of frozen produce: baby limas, petite peas, baby green beans, corn, strawberries, peaches, berries, mixed vegetables. I have orange essence prunes which are very yummy.
Grains: whole wheat bread and tortillas, Barilla Plus healthy pasta, Whole Wheat egg noodles, brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, high fiber cereals (I love frosted mini wheats).
Fats: I try to limit! I do use olive oil and canola oil in cooking. I sub applesauce for oil in baking. I use smart balance light, or Land o Lakes Butter with Canola Oil. Avocados are a healthy fat also. I use Best Foods Light mayo (in the green jar, 20 calories per tablespoon).

Today I am making a homemade Turkey Vegetable Chowder. It is my own recipe. I had roasted a turkey breast a few days ago for dinner. I took the leftover turkey breast (bones included) and it is simmering in a pot of salted water. When the turkey is falling off the bone, I will remove the bones and put the meat back in the water (broth). I will slice some chunks of zucchini, onions, carrots, orange bell peppers and add them. I will throw in whatever leftover veggies I have also (some peas, green beans, maybe corn). Some onion powder, garlic, salt and pepper and maybe some powdered milk to make it more like a chowder. I will probably stir in a bit of cheddar cheese at the end as well, or maybe not, but I have to say the house smells heavenly right now and I am happy that I will have a big dish thick with turkey and veggies to eat for my dinner tonight!

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