Kiwifruit….who knew?

I was logging my weekly weight on Weight Watchers this morning (3 pound loss…thank you very much!) and I saw they had an article on kiwifruit.  Last week I went to Costco and bought way too may kiwis so I am desperate for ideas.  I was surprised by the stats.  Did you know that kiwifruit only has 56 calories per large fruit and is packed with vitamins C and E and loaded with potassium?  I guess I never really thought about it.  I was most surprised to learn that the skin, once washed, is edible as well.  Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever acquire a taste for the rough fuzzy skin, but good to know.

Kiwi’s are best when they start to soften.  You can leave them on your counter for up to 5 days to ripen, but then it is best to store them in a plastic bag in your chill chest.  They will last up to 2 weeks in there.  I could not believe how many uses they have.  The enzymes found in a kiwi act as a natural meat ternderizer, so remember that the next time you are smothering your favorite animal flesh with chemical tenderizer.  🙂

At this point I have so many, I’ve just been adding one to my morning GNC Lean Shake protein smoothie, but I’m excited to try some more adventurous options as well.  Weight Watchers has some great ideas so be sure to check them out.  I’ve created my own variation from their No Bake Fruit Tart recipe.  WW version has 4 points and mine only has 2.  I hope you enjoy it and let me know how it goes.

2 Point No Bake Fruit Tart
serves 2

2 whole graham cracker rectangles (that’s 8 smaller rectangles)
1 Tbls apple juice
1 large kiwifruit
4 strawberries
1 peach
1/4 cup blueberries

Pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb and add the apple juice.  Find a tin can out of your recycling and clean it really good after removing the top and bottom.  Use the can as a mold for the crumb base.  Press 1/2 of the crumb mixture into the can and press to compact.  Once you have made the base remove the can. 

Peel the kiwi and peach, hull and wash the strawberries and wash the blueberries.  Slice the kiwi, peach and strawberries into thin slices.  Layer the fruit over the base.  I think this order works best:

Kiwi on the bottom
Strawberries next
Peach on top of the strawberries
Blueberries on the top

I suppose you could add a small amount of whipped cream, but remember that adds calories, fat and POINTS. 

Enjoy and let me know how you love it!

Weight Watcher Wednesday – Mindful Eating

I said that Wednesdays were going to be when I talked about how Weight Watchers is helping me, so here it goes.  My name is Carrie and I’m a food addict.  No kidding.  What I’ve learned in the past three weeks is that I have very little control over my eating.  Sometimes I eat out of boredom, sometimes for stress and sometimes it’s just because I like the way something tastes.  I don’t even really think about eating.  That’s just scary.  Weight Watchers has made me super aware of the fact that I eat mindlessly.  Food is not nourishment first for me, it’s comfort first, at least it was in the past.

I’ve been logging my food for at least two years, but the points system really makes me see how the food I was eating was high in fat and low in nutritional content.  Just because something is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  I know that seems like common sense, but in today’s world of 100 calorie packs, it makes it very easy to justify eating 4 of those packs over the course of the day and that can add up.  I was so focused on pre-portioned foods that when I tried self-control without them….up went my weight.

I honestly think this is because I wasn’t being mindful of my choices.  I wasn’t looking at how nutritious something was and how filling something would be.  If I had a choice between a 100 calorie pack of cookies or a bag of carrots, I picked the cookies and then I was hungry an hour later.  Now I know the carrots would have been much more filling and much healthier.  Again, I know this sounds like common sense, but when you have an enormous sweet tooth, common sense takes a giant leap out of the window.   

So my first “aha moment” on Weight Watchers is that I need to learn a little more about the practice of mindful eating.  I need to respect myself and food if I want to achieve my goal weight and live a long and healthy life.

Follow Up Friday – 2/25/2011

TGIF!  I weighed in on Monday after 2 weeks on Weight Watchers and dropped 2.4 lbs.  Good for me.  I am hopeful I’ll have another loss this week of at least 1 pound.  I’m remembering to log my food and count points 75% of the time.  I need to work on that. 

I’ve finished two full weeks of the Couch to 5k program and after my run today I will have completed the third week.  I love the way this program is set up.  It breaks the run into walking and running sessions of different time intervals.  I’m up to running 3 minutes at a time, which might not seem like a lot, but considering I haven’t really run in a year…it’s a lot.  The first week was 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking for a total of 30 minutes.  The second week was 90 seconds running, 2 minutes walking for a total of 30 minutes.  This week it’s 90 seconds running/90 seconds walking followed by 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking for a total of 28 minutes.  Next week will be challenging.  The routine is 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run, 2.5 minute walk, 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run for a total of 32 minutes.  It’s going to be a struggle the first day, but I haven’t quit yet!  I’ll be crossing that finish line on April 9th no worries!  In addition to my 3 days of running, I’ve been strength training with Leigh twice a week and getting in an elliptical workout on Saturdays.

I finally got to participate in our long distance book group this week too.  A group of us are reading Bring on the Joy by Jen Yost, MS ED.  It’s a great book.  We read a section before each call and then discuss how the exercises are helping us find our joy.  It’s so inspiring to hear how the group is experiencing the book.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the author will call in for one of our sessions.  I am so thankful that my friend Jen sent me this book.

I hope everyone has been well and more than anything I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Troublesome Tuesday Tips – Weekends

Weekends have always been a weak spot for me and eating healthy. It never matters how diligent I am Monday to Friday, the weekends just set me back. I had a really great weight loss of -3 pounds from Monday – Friday of last week and by the next Monday I was back at my starting weight from the week before. I can not tell you how tired I am of losing the same stupid 3-5 pounds each week. There has to be a better way.

I told you I joined Weight Watchers last week so I’ve decided to take 5 minutes each day to read one of their online articles. Last night I did a search on weekends and stumbled on an article with tips and tricks to a successful weekend. Here is what I discovered I am doing wrong:

– I don’t exercise first thing in the morning on the weekends. I have every intention of getting to the gym, but the day gets started and before I know it I am out of time.

– I don’t plan ahead. I’m a very spontaneous person on the weekends so I usually end up eating on the run and making poor choices because I’m hungry.

– I enjoy a few too many adult beverages

Here are my strategies for next weekend and every weekend after that:

– Get to the gym before 10am on Saturday. Sunday will continue to be my rest day. Perhaps if I get to the gym before I start my day I won’t be as tempted to ruin my progress by making bad food choices.

– Keep a bag of healthy snack food in my purse at all times. Whole grain crackers, a protein bar, a banana or freeze-dried fruit.

– I just need to limit my drinks and realize they are a significant amount of points. My plan here is to start with a glass of water if I have to go to happy hour. If I start with water and take my time I may end up getting out of happy hour without actually having a drink. I will also avoid the mixed drinks with fruit juice which are loaded with sugars.

What are your tips and tricks for staying on track over the weekend?

Getting organized…..

I’ve been struggling a bit with a good format for my blog.  I feel like it’s just been random posts lately.  When I started this blog I had so many ideas and couldn’t wait to get writing and sharing.  I’m not sure what happened.  Well, I guess life happened and things started getting crazier than normal.  I wanted to build a community here and I feel like I started to do that, but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t keep coming back if there was nothing new to read.  I don’t even know if I’m a good writer or if I have anything interesting to say half the time.  

In the beginning I had assigned topics for certain days of the week and I liked that idea so I’m going back to that idea.  These are my thoughts so far, but I would really like your input.  You are reading this and I want to discuss topics that not only help me, but help you too.  That’s what community is all about right?  I can’t promise to post every day of the week, but I think if I have topics to think about I will post a little more often.  My thoughts: 

Movin’ Mondays:  Exercise or general fitness talk (maybe I’ll get Leigh to give us some tips from the personal trainer…hint hint) 

Troublesome Tuesdays:   Discussion on something I’ve struggled with during my journey to wellness 

Weight Watchers Wednesdays:  Discussion about my experience with Weight Watchers and any good tips I’ve found on the program, recipe share, etc. 

Track Talk Thursday:  General discuss on my 5k training 

Follow Up Friday:  I’ll use Fridays to recap my weeks progress on running, eating, weight, etc. 

Wordless Weekends:  I’ll use the weekends to post photos I’ve taken or seen that have inspired me or mean something to me. 

Those are my initial thoughts.  Do you have anything you would like to read about?

The Future’s So Bright….

It’s been an interesting week to say the least.  I got some less than desirable news at work which I thought would make my emotional eating even worse, but it did just the opposite.  I realize that what is happening at work is out of my control, but how I react is completely within my control.  Then I realized that I’ve been allowing things I can’t control to totally mess with my head for the past six months.  I’ve been making some really poor food choices lately and that is something I can completely control. 

 I’ve said it before, but I hate restricting myself to “diet food”, so I won’t.  I’ve spent the past two years logging my food with various online diaries and, as of late, not had much success.  Counting every calorie is boring and I’ve found myself eating the wrong kinds of foods too often as a result.  I joined Weight Watchers yesterday.  I know it’s still logging food, but it’s forcing me to really consider what types of foods I am eating.  The points plus system doesn’t factor in calories, it factors in protein, fiber, carbs and fat.  I’m still reading into the science of this, but I feel like I need to give it a try.  It’s something I can begin to control.  I clearly have a problematic relationship with food and I’m hopeful this tool will give me the skills I need to establish healthier eating habits.

 I was talking to a co-worker today who is also affected by this upcoming change.  He too has chosen to embrace this as an opportunity rather than a set back.  At some point you just have to let go of what you can’t control and focus on the positive things in your life.  My weight and fitness is something that is on the way to becoming a positive thing for me and something I am going to control.  I really believe if we seek out happiness and find gratitude that we will be healthier for that….and who doesn’t want to be healthier?

 How do you deal with set backs at work and home?  Is there someone or something that inspires you to be a better you?

33 days and counting

Well, if you read this blog occasionally, you know that I am taking my first cruise at the end of August.  You also know that my goal was to be in the normal weight range by this time.  Not going to happen my friends.  I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks and I’m making all the wrong food choices.   I don’t know how many times I can tell you that I’m going to start focusing right now, but here I am about to tell you that again. 

I wish I could be harder on myself, but I’ve accomplished quite a bit in the past 12 months.  I’ve lost 40 pounds, up until two weeks ago I was at the gym at least 3 days a week, if not 4 and I’m now a vegetarian.  So what’s my problem?  I wish I could tell you.  I’m just in a slump I guess.  Hopefully that will be changing tonight.

My mom and I set out for Weight Watchers on Saturday, but ended up in the Jenny Craig center instead.  We both have appointments at 6pm tonight for our initial consultation.  I know you are probably thinking “What the heck are you going to Jenny Craig for?”  I know I’ve lost 2/3 of the weight on my own, but I’ve stopped being diligent about portion size again.  I’ve been maintaining my weight for the past 3 months, so I know that I can do that.  I just need that little extra help to shed the last 20-25 pounds.  I’m not ashamed to admit I need more help than I can give myself.  I’m also really excited to be supporting my mom in her efforts and I think together we are going to accomplish great weight loss success.

My face has finally healed and I feel comfortable going to the gym and having a good sweat again.  I am considering switching from my small local gym to L.A. Fitness.  My mom has been looking for a gym with a pool and L.A. Fitness has one.  They also have many more cardio machines than my gym and a lot of other amenities for the same monthly fee I currently pay.  It’s a bit more of a drive than my current gym, but only by maybe 5-10 minutes.  They also have shower facilities which my gym does not have.

Hopefully this week will be one of wellness and progress.  I’m forced to set a new goal for my cruise and that is to lose 10 pounds before we leave.  If I am really good and can lose 15 pounds in the next 33 days I would be at a BMI of 24.4 which would get me out of the overweight category.

I am sorry for the silence this past week, but let’s hope I have some good news to report same time next week.