Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to lose 500lbs in 10 minutes!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could change your entire life without having to put any effort in? Wouldn’t it be great to go from a size 24 to a size 4 without any of the work in the middle? Now, 500lbs in 10 minutes is way too extreme for even the most na├»ve person to believe, but I’m sure that you’ve seen (and maybe even tried) one of the thousands of ‘lose 10lbs in 3 days’ or ‘lose 30lbs in 10 days’ programs that pop up everywhere.

Everyone has a great aunt Molly that swears by the cayenne pepper juice diet and lost a ton of weight and although this type of approach can be appealing because the results are promised so quickly, it always ends in disappointment and usually ends in more weight gain!

These quick fix diets aren’t fixing the root of the problem and they are always unsustainable long term. You definitely can lose 10lbs in three days drinking only juice, but is this going to help you long term when you return to eating normally and you gain it all back?

The alternative to these quick fix diets is to commit to small changes in your lifestyle that contribute to you being healthier over a longer period. Is this glamorous? No.  Is it sustainable? Yes! Is it worth it? Yes!
You might be resistant to changing your lifestyle, but without the change you cannot progress. Your body is a product of your lifestyle and you can’t succeed in changing one without the other. 
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! To be successful you do not need to immediately cut out all processed sugar and make all of your meals from scratch. Like most extreme things, this approach would probably result in a really fast transition back to your previous lifestyle.

For the first year of my journey to healthy, I followed the SparkPeople.com plan by creating small habits and successfully doing those each day for a couple of weeks. I traded in Coke and Dr. Pepper for water and juice and my initial 2 week streak turned into a 3 year streak! After kicking the soda, I added in just 10 minutes of exercise a day and work to increase that all the time. We traded in eating out all of the time to ½ of the time and then transitioned to 70% of meals at home and weekends out.

You don’t have to use the site to do this, but doing so helped me keep track of my streaks and helped me keep going in my weakest points. The main point isn’t how you do it, just that you make small changes over and over again and then when you look back you will be so much farther on your path than you are now!


You can totally do it. Maybe you won’t lose 500lbs in 10 minutes, but you could certainly lose 80lbs in a year.  1 year of your life to be healthier, not just thinner. What could be better than that?

Don't wait until you are thin to live your life

I would go to public fitness and aerobics classes if I was just a bit more in shape. I would visit some of Utah's national parks and hike around if I lost just 30-40lbs. I would go to more social activities if I wasn't nervous about my weight. I would be less nervous sliding my butt into booths at places if I just lost my belly. I would pursue community theatre and acting if I was at a more 'normal' weight. 

Over the past 8 years of my life, my weight has progressively increased and I've secluded and shielded myself more and more from things that I want to do. I know that this isn't just me. I know that there are so many individuals who struggle with their weight that it also becomes a struggle with their self worth and their confidence in doing anything that involves leaving the house.

It has taken me such a long time to realize that I could love myself, love my body and also want to lose weight and be healthy at the same time. Weight loss doesn't happen overnight, and after looking back and realizing how much time I've wasted being so self concious about it, I've decided that I just need to embrace where I am right now and live my life as fully as I can during each step of my journey.

Being obese can quickly become an excuse to live your life less fully. To hide your best self away under the layers of clothes and repeat the cycle of fast food and eating alone. This has got to stop! Your body should be a reflection of the life that you lead, not the cause of leading a less than full life.

The funniest thing about this is that I thought by avoiding things that would expose my obesity I could 'hide it' from people. Ummm.. it is pretty hard to hide your whole body! Once I realized that everyone already knew how out of shape I was and that I really didn't care, it became a lot easier to just embrace my fat while working to become healthy.

Yes, I might embarrass myself in a fitness class or be huffing and puffing while hiking; I might have to smoosh myself into booths and I might be the subject of ridicule by putting myself out there (probably not), but this could all happen if I was a normal weight as well. If you don't embrace the lifestyle that you want even when you are obese, you're going to struggle just as much as a normal weight!

There should probably be a call to action here, so here we go! Do not wait until you are at your goal weight to live your life. Do not hide behind your fat. Live your life fully throughout the whole journey. Do not waste a single moment worrying about what other people think. Go, run, jump, climb, LIVE!



Friday, February 28, 2014

Low carb flaxseed crust sugar free blueberry cheesecake

Once you start using flax seed for things, it is hard to stop. I want to learn all of the things that I can make from it and eat all of them!

 I made a delicious blueberry cheesecake with a grain free flax seed meal crust. Only 30 minutes of baking and about 10 minutes of prep for a delicious dessert.

Here is the recipe that I used:

Crust:
1 cup of flax seed meal
1 egg
1/2 cup of stevia
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbs melted butter

Here are the nutritional facts for the whole crust:


Amount Per Serving
  Calories736.0
  Total Fat63.6 g
     Saturated Fat17.2 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat1.0 g
     Monounsaturated Fat8.0 g
  Cholesterol74.5 mg
  Sodium4.1 mg
  Potassium15.1 mg
  Total Carbohydrate32.6 g
     Dietary Fiber32.0 g
     Sugars0.5 g
  Protein24.3 g


I started by preheating the oven to 350 and then mixed the ingredients in a bowl. Note that the mixture will become pretty sticky. After spraying the cake pan with some Pam, I smooshed the mixture to the bottom of the pan. Due to the moisture in the mixture, it sticks quite well and easily adhered to the pan, much like a regular crust would. Throw it all in the oven for about 11-12 minutes while you work on the super yummy cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake filling:
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sour cream
2/3 cup stevia
1 cup of blueberries

Stir the cream cheese vigorously until it starts to separate and get smooth. Add the egg to the mixture and stir it around quickly. Add in the vanilla and the sour cream before pouring in the stevia. The mixture should be a little bit runny at this point, if it isn't you want to continue to add sour cream until you get a runny consistency (instead of lumpy).




Once your mixture is complete, you should taste test it. At this point you can add more stevia (sweetener of choice) or any additional ingredients that you'd like. For me, I went with blueberries to add an additional kic to my cheesecake.



Simply pull the pie crust out of the oven and spoon the cheesecake filling into it. Be careful to spread the mixture out to the edges of the pan, as it doesn't spread much in the oven.


Pop it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and then pull it out to enjoy:


Here is the nutritional info for the filling (without blueberries):


Amount Per Serving
  Calories911.5
  Total Fat88.2 g
     Saturated Fat48.5 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat4.4 g
     Monounsaturated Fat22.8 g
  Cholesterol444.6 mg
  Sodium755.3 mg
  Potassium421.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate11.2 g
     Dietary Fiber0.0 g
     Sugars8.0 g
  Protein23.9 g

This recipe made about 8 slices of cheesecake for me, so thats about 200 calories per slice and 1.4 net carbs each. If you are watching calories in addition to/instead of carbs, you should sub low fat sour cream and a butter substitute

Let me know if you try it or adjust it with other ingredients. You can never have enough cheesecake!

Conquering breakfast: Flax seed meal and chia oatmeal (low carb)

Although I love my normal breakfast of a ham and cheese roll up, I've been craving oatmeal lately. Not wanting to give up my low carb streak, I went in search of an alternative that was low carb but enough like oatmeal to satisfy my craving. 

After scouring the web (typing into Google) I found that you can create hot cereal with flax seed and chia seeds. I had recently purchased some flax seed meal and have had chia seeds sitting in my cupboard unopened for quite some time. 

Here are the ingredients that I used for my experimental breakfast:

  • 1/3 cup of flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds




I boiled 1 cup of water on the stove and had my dry mixture in a bowl. Once the water boiled, I poured it over the dry mixture and let everything soak for about 3 minutes. 

After everything gelled, I added a pinch of Stevia and some blueberries for flavor. It was delicious! The fiber in the flax seed helped keep me full for over 6 hours and I got my oatmeal fix. I can't wait to try this with other flavors.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It is so easy to stay on track.. when I'm not being lazy

Every successful day begins the night before with preparation and planning for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know this....but sometimes it is so hard! Like, right now. I should be prepping my stuff for tomorrow, but I'm lounging on the couch and scrolling through Facebook. No bueno!

On the plus side, I was super on top of the prepping last night! I made a breakfast consisting of a ham and cheese roll, some chopped up veggies and a pickle. Weird and delicious.

For lunch I prepped a spinach/kale/romaine salad with cucumbers, a couple of cherry tomatoes, green onions and some shredded beef that was left over from dinner. Tossed in a zesty Italian dressing, my lunch rang in at less than 3 net carbs, 230 calories and a whole lot of taste.

For snacking throughout the day, I kept a little bag of organic raw coconut flakes and raw almond slivers. I didn't eat a ton of these, but it is nice to keep me in line when I would normally be snacking on junk food.
I rounded out my afternoon with some string cheese and a laughing cow swiss cheese and was great until dinner. (Yes, I do have a tiny addiction to cheese)

For dinner we had pork chops stuffed with cheddar and bacon, with a side of delicious steamed veggies. The pork chops were pre-stuffed from Smith's, only $6 for three of them! It was delicious as well as a delicious deal.

Overall, today was a success. I can't wait to step on the scale tomorrow and see how much progress I've made.

Also, this post just inspired me to get off of my butt and pack for tomorrow. Good things come of blogging all of your food.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Yummy yummy, spinach crust pizza!

Okay, I am not normally the type of person that gets excited by anything with the word spinach in it. Honestly! When I think of pizza, I think of the carb heavy but so delicious taste of a stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut, probably washed down with some soda and breadsticks. 

As delicious as that might sound, the regret that occurs immediately after inhaling the 5000+ calories from the above mentioned pizza just doesn't work for me right now. I know that to be able to lose the weight that I need to and to maintain it, I'm going to have to make adjustments and modifications to satisfy some of my cravings without sabotaging my efforts.

My search for a healthy pizza alternative led me to this website http://yourlighterside.com/2011/02/spinach-pizza-crust-recipe-induction-friendly  and I was a little nervous to try, but thought that I had nothing to lose. I'm usually intimidated by healthy recipes because of all of the complex ingredients, but this recipe was super simple and I had all most of the ingredients to make it happen.

The original recipe (for the crust) calls for:

1 cup loosely packed, fresh spinach
1 egg
1 cup loosely packed mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp oregano


I had the spinach, egg, basil and ground oregano, but I didn't have any mozzarella cheese. Because I had already ran out to the store 2x to get groceries and baking suppliers, I didn't want to venture back out.  I wanted to make a slightly larger pizza crust to split with my husband, so I modified it to the following:

2 cups of spinach (chopped with a knife, although I think you are supposed to use a food processor. Oh well!) 
2 eggs 
2 cups of cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning Mix (You can find this for $1.00!)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

I preheated the oven to 400 and then I chopped the spinach up into about quarter inch pieces and then threw them in a mixing bowl. I cracked both eggs into the mixing bowl, added the cheese and seasonings and stirred everything together with a wooden spoon. After washing my hands, I squished all of the ingredients together (this sounds gross now that I'm typing it out, but it wasn't bad and helped all of the ingredients to blend). 

I sprayed my cookie sheet (I realized that I didn't have a pizza pan) with non-stick spray and smooshed all of the spinach onto the cookie sheet. It looked like this:


I stuck it in the oven for 11 minutes and by then my kitchen started smelling AMAZING! After taking it out of the oven, I topped it with some delicious pizza sauce and pepper jack cheese, and it looked like this:


I switched my oven to broil and stuck it back in for about 3-4 minutes and was left with this deliciousness:


I cut it in half to share with my husband, and we both loved it.

This recipe is super easy and fast to make, and is definitely delicious!

Bon Apetit!

-Carisa

Delicious low carb dessert!

Hello world!

My focus for last weekend was to try some low carb recipes that required a little more effort than the salads and chopped veggies that I've been relying on for the past month. I made two different low carb desserts and a low carb spinach crust pizza (more on that in my next post).


The first dessert that I made was a sugar free cheesecake, based on a couple of different recipes but primarily on the recipe at http://www.fatguyweightloss.com/low-carb-cheesecake-recipe/


Here is the breakdown (modified just a bit from the original):


Crust:

1 cup almond flour (smiths sells this for like $5!!)
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon Stevia in the Raw
Mix ½ cup of almond flour with the other three ingredients until all of the flour is moist. Spread along bottom of the cake pan and then add the other ½ of almond flour. Press the dry flour into the bottom of the pan and make sure the crust is flat. You are going to cook this in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.



Filling:

2 packages of cream cheese
1 cup of Stevia in the Raw
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (definitely use pure. Imitation vanilla contains corn syrup and sugar)
¼ cup sour cream
3 eggs
Whip the cream cheese by itself until it is smooth and fluffy and then add in the Stevia and the vanilla. Add the sour cream in and mix well. Stir together until all of the vanilla is absorbed into the cream cheese. Add 1 egg at a time and stir into the mixture to create a creamy texture (note that it will look a bit lumpy until you get all three eggs in and well mixed).

Pour the filling into the crust and pop it into the oven for 50 minutes at 350. When it is done, you can cool it in the fridge for 20 minutes or countertop for 2 hours.
Top with sugar free whipped cream or whipped heavy whipping cream with some Stevia in the raw.

Delicious and low carb. 4 totals carbs, 1 sugar and 1 5 fiber. 5 grams of protein.