Sunday, September 30, 2007

This week's winner: Fitness is key

K.C. stepped up this week and was the biggest loser with a loss of 4 pounds! I talked to K.C. today and he said he was able to start working out this week and that made a difference. Steph works at Thorbeck's Gym now so K.C. took the opportunity to start a membership. I agree that fitness makes a big difference. Not only does working out help you shed pounds faster, it also increases your cardiovascular health, which is great for the heart. There are countless benefits!

Our focus this week is to jump start your fitness routine. Whether it be walking 20 minutes a day or attending kickboxing class three times a week, try to incorporate some sort of fitness regime in to your life.

Here's a quick fitness tip: James and I ran a 12K run today in San Francisco. We (more like I) kept the pace slow but steady. We enjoyed our time together, the vibrancy of the crowds, the beautiful sights/weather, the runner's high, and the race freebies. I really hate running but I like having a fitness goal to work towards. I recommend you check out local 5/7/10/12Ks in your area. You won't regret it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Aly's Crock Pot Recipe: Turkey Chili

Here's my healthy crock pot recipe for the week. It's a Turkey Chili recipe and it has to be the tastiest chili I've ever had (recipe courtesy of my former co-worker, Ryan).

"The Best Chili EVER"

2 lbs ground turkey
1 large can crushed tomatoes (no salt/sugar added)
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 small can diced "chili style" tomatoes
1 package frozen corn or 2 cans "niblet" Green Giant corn
4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can diced green chiles
1 pkgs "Hot" McCormick Chili Seasoning
2 pkg "Regular" McCormick Chili Seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 small bunch, fresh basil, rough chopped
1 small white onion, minced
1 clove fresh garlic (not dried or jarred!!) minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers (jarred works better) diced
Mrs. Dash Hot Spice

Brown ground turkey; drain once when about 85% cooked through, replace in pan and season the turkey well with Mrs. Dash and ½ tsp of cumin. When cooked through, place on platter lined with paper towel. Let stand for a minute or two. Place all ingredients in large bowl, mix well to combine. Place in crock pot to heat through at low temp for at least least three hours, no more than eight.

Yields 20 servings
1 cup = 3 points (approx. 150 cal)

The chili tastes great with a small slice of toasted sourdough bread. You can also amp up the spiceness with more jalapeno peppers or green chilis. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This week was tough for all, but the winners are...

the dynamic duo of Jill and Roy - they both lost 2.2 pounds! Great job, Calica fam. Overall this week was a hard one for most of us. Collectively we only lost 3.2 pounds; ouch.

I think my eating went off the deep end this week even though I kept up my exercise regime because of the arrival of Fall. I ask you - what are your personal weight loss goals? With the arrival of the cold weather it's important to keep those goals in mind when you make eating decisions. It'll be especially important the closer we get to the holidays.

Does anybody have healthy but tasty crockpot recipes? If so, please post them to the blog.

Better luck to all of us in the next week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recipe of the Week - Sloppy Joe Loaf

I have a good recipe to share it's easy, quick and very filling. It is a weight watcher recipe. KC and Dad really like it so it must be good!

1 loaf Italian or French Bread
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. hamburger (lean)
1/2 c. onion chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (any kind)
2 T. brown sugar or splenda b. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

Brown hamburger, onion. Add 1 can tomato bits, the brown sugar and vinegar. Let simmer...meanwhile, slice bread in two halves. Put in preheated 425 degree oven. Toast until light brown (5 min). Remove from oven, fill both halves with hamburger mixture. Add cheese over top. Return to oven and let bake until cheese is melted.

Serve with green salad and there is your whole meal.

Serves: 6
WW Pts: 9


Sunday, September 16, 2007

And the biggest loser this week is....(drumroll)

JAMES, with a weight loss of four pounds! Great job James! Don't ask him for any weight loss advice because he's got secret metabolic powers the rest of us lack. This week we all lost 15.2 pounds; let's try to amp things up next week!

I also want to take this opportunity to explain the ranking system. Instead of posting an overall ranking, I thought it would be more exciting to list the weekly weight-loss ranking. If you follow the rankings closely week-to-week you may have a good idea of who is in the lead. But the possibility exists that the overall winner will never actually achieve the top ranking for any week. Interesting, eh?

Keep up the good work everyone! We still haven't had any weight gainers, which is really remarkable. If you get in to a healthy routine, you should be able to lose bit by bit each week. Just imagine, one pound lost a week equals 27 pounds!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekly focus: Water Intake

Whenever I've hopped back on the diet bandwagon, water has always been a crucial factor in successfully losing weight. This week, make it your goal to drink six 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Below is an article that explains why drinking water is good for your health, and tips on how to increase your water intake. One way I've been able to keep up my water intake is to not stock my fridge with soda or juice. I spike my water with Crystal Light To Go during meals and keep a large supply of cold water in the fridge. I also bring water with me in the car wherever I go.

Good luck this week, and if you have any troubles with weekly focus or have questions, feel free to post to the blog!

Why Drink Water?

Why is water crucial to your health? The average adult body consists of about 50 to 80 percent water and relies on it for many vital functions, from body temperature regulation to nutrient dispersion and toxin removal. As you breath, perspire and urinate, you deplete your water resources. If you don't replace what you use, imbalances can occur that affect your bodily and brain functions.

Effects of Dehydration
If you're not properly hydrated, you're apt to suffer from dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as headache and fatigue. Drinking enough water—six 8-ounce glasses each day at a minimum—may also help you avoid overeating. If you're hit by a craving, try drinking some water, seltzer or juice and seltzer mixed. This will hydrate you and help fill you up.

Need another reason to drink your H2O? Being even slightly dehydrated can also make you feel irritable and cranky—a mood that leads many of us to eat unwisely. "People tend to seek out comfort foods when they're not feeling their best," says Therese Franzese, MS, RD, director of nutrition for the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York.

Drink up.
According to a Rockefeller University survey of 2,818 Americans, only 34 percent drank the recommended amount of water daily. To make sure you're getting enough water:

Track your water intake.
Record every glass of water or other beverage you drink.

Bring it with you.
Buy a large, refillable bottle and take it with you wherever you go. If you fill it with two thirds ice and one third water, it should stay cool for most of the day.

Drink up while drinking.
Alcohol is a diuretic that can deplete your hydration level. Drinking water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages can help you stay hydrated—and save calories, too, by filling you up.

Spike your drink.
Don't like the taste of plain water? Try a home water-filtration system to improve the quality of your tap water. Or try cutting it with a bit of fruit juice or lemon. Another option is to try mineral water, which has an added bonus: Many brands contain calcium, a mineral that can help prevent bone-weakening osteoporosis.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First week down, many more to go!

Congrats to everyone for accomplishing your first week of the MWC. Our biggest loser is Sheila - she lost 4.2 lbs! Congratulations!

Nobody gained weight, which is also great. Our total pounds lost for the week was 19.2. Next week let's try to surpass 20.

Tomorrow I'm going to post our first weekly focus item, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How to pack a healthy lunch

I got a call from Jillian today asking for some advice. She was shopping at Costco and was wondering whether the croissants were somewhat healthful. I had a hunch that it wasn't the best choice and I found a website with the nutrition information. Yikes, that's eight Weight Watchers points! Jillian was looking for some healthy lunch items and was out of ideas. I suggested she try shopping at Trader Joe's because I buy my bread there - it's less than 100 calories for two slices and it's filling. It turns out that there aren't many locations in the South Sound; the closest TJ's is in University Place. I think it would be totally worth the trip though because the food is healthy, tasty and super cheap!

My lunches are almost entirely composed of TJ food. Here's my typical lunch menu:

2 slices TJ Multigrain bread (2 pts) w/mustard (0 pt)
6 slices of Oscar Meyer lowfat Turkey meat (1 pt)
1 pack of TJ 100 Cal Crackers (2 pts)
1 Kids Chocolate Chip Clif Bar (2 pts)
1 cup of grapes (1 pt)
Total points = 8 (approx 400 cal)

My lunch is filling and cheap, and I think it's the type of lunch a kid could eat (since I'm semi-picky). Veggies can easily be substituted for the chips, which would bring down the cal/points count. I think the 100 cal packs are great because it enforces portion control. Oh yeah, and don't drink juice or soda. Try a Crystal Light To Go pack if you need to add some taste to water.

I know lunches are a hot topic - mom had asked for advice on packing lunches for Dad. Does anybody else want to offer up suggestions?