Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Announcement & Healthier Food Ideas!

Hey everybody!! How are things going with you all?? I've been away for about a month...two weeks were family vacation to Mississippi and then two have been me dealing with laptop issues which have kept me from writing very many posts. I have to say that it is a HUGE relief to have the wonderful contributors Kathia & Frances here on EEG Blog! They have helped make my life much easier because they're helping me keep this blog active & also helping encourage and reach readers I didn't have connections with before!! If you'd be interested in contributing you can always EMAIL ME and we'll talk about it! :)

I was finally brave enough to plug in my laptop and hope that it wouldn't start smelling like smoke again...and it doesn't!! Thank you Jesus!! I know I'll still have to take it to be fixed at a Best Buy store, but to have internet at my fingertips once again is heavenly!

I have been scheduling Words On Sunday posts for my main blog earlier and I ran across some really great things on Pinterest to share. Most of those will be shared over on my main blog for the next 9+ weeks to come, but today I wanted to share with you this photo:

{photo via Greatist}

Nothing about fitness & health is about going fast! How many of you know that to be true? (and if you didn't know, now you do!) I have been on a personal battle with fitness for several years now. In 2011 I was able to loose 30+ lbs that I had gained in less than a month because of a medication I was taking for my brain injury. It took me almost a year of walking 1 hour or more a day, drinking lots of water, and staying committed to loosing that weight to make it go away. Let me tell you: that was not a fast process!!

My current fitness & health battle plan has been: well plain laziness!! Since I lost that weight in 2011 I haven't done much to continue working towards being fit. I was happy with being a size 12. I really didn't try hard to eat healthy this past year and I'm regretting that because I could've been doing so much more than I did...but looking back does me no good, I need to focus on right now and what I can do now instead of worrying about the future!

I was originally planning to wait on this announcement for a few more weeks (until after I was able to see my doctor), but it is slightly necessary in order to understand my new reasons and plans I have for wanting to be healthier:

Yes!! I'm pregnant!! :) I'm really excited to be having a baby, but I sure don't like the process of getting the baby!! I found out on May 10th and it turns out I'm about 10 weeks along already! I had no clue!!

Because of me being pregnant I have started making a lot of much more healthier food choices than I have in the past year. I did tell Autry when we went down to Mississippi that if I wasn't pregnant (we were originally going to take a test on Mothers Day, but that's a whole different story!) I wanted to start eating really healthy and exercising a lot...I also told him that if I WAS pregnant, then I would still plan to eat a lot healthier, but I've always heard pregnant women get strange cravings so I wasn't going to be super strict about the healthy thing...now that doesn't mean I don't eat healthy most days of the week, it just means that when I have the occasional odd craving I'm going to allow myself to eat a few bites of it so the craving will go away.

So some of the foods I eat on a regular basis now are:

Salads! I've been eating the mess out of salads...granted I only had iceberg lettuce in the fridge...but the next time I go shopping I'll be buying some spinach and other dark green leafy lettuce(s). One of my favorite types of salads to eat is Taco Salad. I usually just use kidney beans, cheese, salsa, black olives, and a little ranch dressing. Occasionally I'll add some crushed Dorito nacho cheese chips too. Fruit Salad. I make up a salad with cheese, paremesan cheese, lettuce, ranch dressing and top it off with some raisins. You could also do dried cranberries which I use too, but not as often as raisins. Croutons and almond slices are also good on this type of salad.

Chicken Breasts! I'm not a terribly huge fan of meat, but I will eat chicken. I like to have my hubby cook up some chicken breasts in the oven with his secret barbecue sauce mix. This is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken breasts...I also like them on sandwiches such as the Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sub. I usually get that with three servings of lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and ranch. And yes I used to eat black olives before I was pregnant so this is nothing unusual for me! :)

Potatoes! I don't know about you, but I love potatoes!! And there are so many great & healthy ways to fix them too! Here are some of the mostly healthy ways I fix me a baked potato. Classic: butter, green onions, turkey bacon bits (I usually cook up a few pieces of turkey bacon and then break it into bits for different things such as this), and a little ranch dressing to help keep it from being too dry. Mexican: butter, salsa and a little cheese. Basic: butter and a little ranch. Yes, ranch dressing is one of my favorites and even though it's not terribly the best for you it is one thing that I do like to eat with most everything.

Smoothies! These are huge for me right now. Especially the fruit ones because in this constant nausea feeling most things do not sound appetizing at ALL! Does anyone know how this feels? I know my mother does!! Anyway, one thing I've found that I can handle is a fruit smoothie blend of frozen peaches, blueberries, and strawberries with a little milk or some yogurt to smooth it out. These are both tasty and delicious!

Tacos! Did you realize that tacos can be practically anything that's wrapped up in a tortilla? This is a fairly recent obsession food of mine because there are so many varieties you can put together and most of them taste fantastic!! Try a Classic Taco with the regular: beans, black olives, meat, cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomato...etc. One of my recent tortilla discoveries is the Cold Meat Taco, it's like a sandwich, but with a tortilla instead of bread! I usually do lettuce, sandwich cheese, and a few pieces of sandwich meat (3) and then top it off with a bit of ranch for sauce. A popular recipe that was shared here on EEG Blog awhile back is Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos. Be sure to check that out if you like fish!

Other healthy foods that I like to either eat or snack on are: flavored yogurts, oatmeal, almonds, cottage cheese (some people argue that this isn't healthy, and I'm not saying that it's the best thing for you, but I love it!), spinach, banana chips, whole wheat bread, frozen grapes and frozen yogurt bites (recipe here).

I don't want you all thinking I eat healthy all the time, because I don't, but I am trying and these are some of the ways and foods that I use to work on healthier eating habits. What healthy foods/meals to you fix for yourself and/or your family?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Losing Weight in Your Forties

What a privilege to contribute to this exercise encouragement blog!  Thank you Helen for the opportunity to share my thoughts on a healthier lifestyle.  I also look forward to reading the other contributors posts in the future.  There is so much we can learn from each other!

For years I have struggled with my weight.  It just seemed like life would get crazy and I would turn to the comforts of food.  Well, let's be real here,  I turned to food for all occasions.   I really enjoyed food.  Now I am in my forties and working on an healthier lifestyle.   It is not easy making these changes now.  I have a lot of bad habits to break that I have had for years.  I went from an athletic, young adult to hardly any exercise at all.  It's horrible!  I sit here befuddled on why I waited so long!  Now I am in a  time in my life,  when it is so hard to lose weight.

There are many reasons why it could be hard to lose weight in your forties.  Here are some things you may need to look at to get back on track.
  1.   Your Attitude: How you approach your weight loss will determine if you succeed.   If you are prone to give up easily, you will not succeed.  But if you get the attitude that you are going to succeed at a healthier lifestyle for yourself, your family, and to see you grand kids,  it is amazing how much more you can get accomplished.   You have to have a positive attitude throughout because it isn't easy and some days it will be hard.  Especially the days when you step on the scale and you haven't lost.  {I just want to Smash It, Bash It, & Trash It!}  Take that frustration on run or  long walk.  It will be a win, win!
  2.  Your workouts:  I was plain ole' lazy.  I would much rather read a good book, bake in the kitchen, or be on the computer, than work out.  I thought I could eat what I wanted, not exercise, and lose weight.   As I got older, I could feel the effects of not exercising.  I would get out of breath with just the smallest exertions.  When I changed my attitude and decided to add 30 minutes of exercise into my daily routine, I started to feel so much better.  Now I have worked up to 60-90 minutes at least 5 days a week and it is something I enjoy doing.
  3. Your Eating: To lose weight you have to change your eating habits.  You have to be willing to give up some very unhealthy choices.  I have learned the last few months that eating out is a bad deal for me.  My body doesn't respond well to processed foods and I will not lose weight and will typically gain.  Fresh foods is the best choice.  You have to watch what you eat everyday!  For me, I use My Fitness Pal.  I do not do very well at guessing, so I faithfully weigh everything out and enter it onto my journal.  It really helps me to make conscious choices about what I am putting in my mouth.
  4. Your Goals:  You have to set realistic goals.  If you set goals that are not realistic, you are going to fail.  Weight loss becomes hard to accomplishment if you feel like a constant failure.  The key is to set goals that you can achieve.  Every person's goals will not be the same.   Set weekly goals and then get really brave and set long term goals.  (Like going to the gym three times this week.  A long term would be train for a 5K)  Set goals that you know you can reach, no matter how small or big.
  5. Be Willing to Fail:  You have to realize that everyday will not be perfect.  There will be days that you will rock it and meet all of your goals.  But there will be days that you are tired and want to eat everything in sight.  Hey! We are human and it is natural to have these days.  What you have to remember is NEVER give up! We are not complete failures if we make some mistake.  We have to get back up and do our best to make good decisions.
Now that we know some of the things we need to do to get back on track, here are some tips to start losing that weight you have been lugging around.  First of all remember that your metabolism slows around midlife.  And because of physical changes you are accruing, you have to start eating healthy and becoming active.  Most mid-lifers need about 30 minutes of moderate activity each day, but in order to lose weight in your forties, you will need even more.  You also have to replace fat with muscle.  As you gain muscle, your body will burn more calories.  It is also important to cut calories.  When you are in your forties, you need about 100 fewer calories a day.  You cannot eat like you did when you were younger.  Lastly, you have to  boost your metabolism.  You do that by eating 60-80 grams of protein a day.  This will help you to enhance muscle growth and to stay full between meals.   All of this is work, but a healthier lifestyle is so important to feeling better and looking better.  Even though some of us are forty something, we can achieve the goal of losing weight and becoming fit. 

Here are all the things I read to research this blog post:
About: Exercise & Health 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

40+ Followers!!

Hello lovelies!! I have been in and out of the blogging world lately due to laptop issues (read more about that on my main blog Blue Eyed Beauty Blog: Computer Issues). ANYWAY, I logged into my blogger account today and was completly surprised that EEG Blog hit 40 followers! Bloglovin & GFC! WOW! Can I say thank you?! You all are wonderful and it's so encouraging to me to see all those followers here! So again, Thank you, thank you thank you! :) {The Facebook fan page is at 56 followers, and the Pinterest board is at 360 followers!}

On a side note I did want to say that after vacation (Autry & I will be heading to Mississippi for 9 days soon!) I plan to start eating much healthier! I've already started on that path, but I will start blogging about those things when I get back! Just a little something to look forward to! :)

NEW Contributor | Frances

In April I began adding new contributors to Exercise Encouragement Group Blog. I still have a few more to introduce to you all, but they are not quite ready to start their contributing process so I am waiting for them! However, if you'd be interested in contributing posts to EEG Blog I'd love to talk with you so please email me

Connect with Frances

Straight From Frances
I love baking, crafting, reading & photography. I'm an animal lover and called a techie by many. If I am not at the gym, you will find me with my family or doing things at the church.

I started blogging to help encourage those that say, "I can't cook", "I can't make that", "I'm so un-creative", or "I can't succeed at that". I was that person and if I can do it, you can do it!

I have recently had the opportunity to stay home after spending the last twelve years in a classroom. After many years of teaching and helping my husband in the ministry, it is in my blood to help others, and blogging gives me that outlet. I am in a new chapter of my life and one thing I am working on is a healthier lifestyle. I have learned so much and enjoy sharing what I learn along the way. There are always notion abounding at Notions From Nonny, my blog!

Read Posts by Frances
When posts are submitted by Frances you will be able to read them on this label: PostsbyFrances!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Starting the journey for a healthy lifestyle! Today!

I must say that I am beyond excited to be able to contribute on this amazing blog!! Helen has been such a sweetheart to me and so easy to work with and I cannot imagine anything but great things happening in her future and in the future of this contributor space. My interest is to share what I know and what I have been learning for a while about fitness, health, and being fabulous & happy!!!

 Let us get straight to it: Making the commitment to become a healthier version of yourself is not an easy task. It usually comes from a wake-up call or a life-changing situation that "makes" you choose 'healthy or else'. It is really not the result of a thought or decision, but the product of a sometimes painful or scary situation which prompts you to choose you and your health over other things. That was my case and I am hoping that as we progress with the contributions, I could be able to share my story in more depth but for now I am going to tell you that choosing a fit and healthy lifestyle, literally saved my life!! I know that it is not an easy process and I am aware that the road to health could be scary, difficult and even lonely! 

Farmer's Markets are the best for produce purchases!! 
To get you started with a plan, you would need to commit to yourself and this new lifestyle. Being the type of person who loves To-Do lists, I thought I'd put a list together of the actual action items that you could use to get started and follow through with a plan. 

  • Eat Right. Leave processed foods, junk food, fast food, preserved foods, high in sodium, high in sugars foods out of your plan. Go for veggies, lean protein, complex carbs and no soda nor too much caffeine.
  • Do Cardio. Cardio speeds up your heart rate and keeps your metabolism moving! You want to do at least 3 times a week of 45 minutes where you keep your heart at a steady rate on a 2 minutes intense running or sprinting level and 1 minute slowing down. This will help to see amazing results and will assist in building endurance and strength.
  • Lift Weights. Women must loose the fear of using weights! Lifting weights help in building muscle and will give you that toned look that you may be wishing for. No worries about getting too bulky or huge! It won't happen! The feminine body is not built to get those results. When you work your muscles, you can burn more calories than any other activity since muscles require more energy for healing after the weight training session.
  • Drink Water. Aim for at least 10 glasses a day with an ultimate goal of 1 gallon per day. Need we say more?
  • Sleep. Your body needs to rest to recover. 8 hours of sleep per night is the way to go! Period!
  • Consistency is Key. Keep going! What you constantly do, you become!!

These are it for now!! Hope you find them useful and they help you in your journey of a better you!!