Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where Do I Start?

Good Afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a late start for me today, usually I try and get a good post first thing in the morning but the life of a Detective kept me from doing that. So today we are going to talk about a starting point. One of the first things you must do is "Change Your Eating Habits." Many people are used to eating a certain way and never think about what they are actually  putting into their bodies. For example, some people regularly drink six cans or more of regular soda every day, but when they find out there are about nine teaspoons of sugar in one can, it puts things more in perspective. Start by slowly changing your habits. Try cutting back three cans a day, then to two and so on, and then start replacing some of the soda with healthier options.

"Start With Small Changes" You don't have to go cold turkey. In the end, you want to achieve a long-term healthy lifestyle. Small changes over time are the most likely to stick. when you think about what you need to get  more of, the other things tend to fall into place. Pick one or two changes to start with. Once the changes have become habits, which usually happens in about two to four weeks, then try adding one or two more.

"Control Portion Sizes" Remember when the servings go up, so do the calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Other suggestions include, dishing out a smaller amount on your plate. FYI ( try eating from a smaller than rather than your usual larger plate.) If you put more food in front of you, you'll eat it because it's there. 

"Limit Added Sugars" Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods and beverages in processing or preparation, not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits or milk. Major sources of added sugars come from sodas, candy, cake , cookies, pies and fruit drinks. Sugar may be listed as: brown sugar, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, honey and molasses. 

Like I have stated in previous posts, this lifestyle change does not happen overnight. In order to achieve the maximum goals that you set for yourself you have to plan accordingly. Just by taking one day at a time you can see a major difference within a few weeks. The key to this lifestyle change is remaining focused and having will-power. Having a strong support system also helps but the if you don't believe in yourself, then you are selling yourself short!!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


There are no guarantees in life, but it is a sure thing that you will get back what you give. If you give 100 persent of your attention, energy and time to a thing you will get that exactly back. Spending your time and attention focused on what you cannot do and and do not have assres that more of the same will come. When you concentrate on lack, weakness, fault and blame, it is sure to become a reality. Nobody has everything, but everybody has something. Use what you have right now! Use it wisely, freely, with love. Wherever yo are, use yor time, energy and talents to do the best you can right now. Give no thoughts to what is missin. Spend no time wishing it were better. Make sure you give all that you have to make sure you will get all that you need.

Stop making excuses!!! Give everything 100 percent all the time and trust me you will get the results you were trying to get!!!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Tips for Eating Out on a Diet

Happy Monday!!!! I hope that everyone had a blessed weekend! Today I am going to share a few tips that has helped me while eating out but still watching what I ate.

** Order your main dish from the appetzer menu**

Not only are appetizers more reasonably-portioned, they will save you some money as well. This is a great way o save enough calories and cash to split dessert with someone. If you think the small appetizer won't be enough then add a side salad or add a bowl of soup.

**Beware of these high-dat menu buzz words**

Creme sauce, butter, oil, au gratin, breaded, Alfredo, battered or battered-dipped, "with gravy", or smothered. Unless you've spared yourself treats for several days and snacked on salad greems all day, these little "extras" aren't worth the extra calories.

**Modify the menu**

Try and make special requests. Many restuaurants will tak your dietary needs into account so you'll be a happy customer and return.

** Meat Lovers**

As tempting as that bucket of chicken looked on the commercial before you left home, order poultry steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, grilled or baked. Ask for skinless chicken whenever possible or remove it yourself. If you do treat yourself to a piece of fried chicken, choose white meat as it has fewer calories than dark.

** Endless Pasta**

Endless pasta at your favorite Italian restaurant may be a carb-lovers' heaven, but it's a waist-widening trap for those of us who tend to overeat. (How are you suppose to know when to say "when" if they keep bringing more?) As tempting as the great "value" for your money that infinitely-refilling pasta bowl seems, it's certainly not a bargain for your calorie budget. Order a portion-controlled main dish instead.

**Take control of takeout**

Who says you can't enjoy a nice takeout dinner when you're dieting? Remember there are many healthy options at ethnic restaurants. portion control is key, though. Take out half of your takeout before dishing up your dinner, put the food in microwave containers and tuck it away in the fridge before you even start eating. You have to maintain your will-power not to go for seconds!!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Health Fair this Weekend

Free Health Fair this Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center from 10am-5pm!!!

I hope to see some of you there!!!!!


Keeping the Weight Off for Good

Losing weight is difficult enough. But dieters are also faced with the fact that odds are stacked aganist them for a long-term success. As of today, I am also walking this journey with keeping the weight off. Trust me this is no walk in the park but over the years I have grown to keep myself motivated.

I have learned that once you reach your goal weight, the worst thing you can do is resume your old eating habits. Remember that those are the eating habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. I'm not saying that you can't enjoy your favorite foods however remember to eat in portions and make sure it is the correct serving size. Don't eat your favorites during the entire day, if you have a healthy breakfast and maybe a salad for lunch, if you want to have that burger or wings for dinner by all means enjoy it!!

Also keep in mind to stay connected to your sources of support. The same people who supported you in the dieting process will help you maintain your weight loss. Stay educated!!! Attend health seminars and pertake in fitness fairs. Make sure you stay up to date with  the new changes in the health field.

If you know someone who is ready to walk in your shoes then become a mentor to that person. One of the best ways to stay educated is to teach your weight-loss skills. What a great feeling it is to motivate and encourage others to follow your lead.

This is a new lifestyle change for a lot of people and in order to adapt to this change everyone needs to motivate one another. This is why I got back to blogging. I love reading the emails and text messages about how I have helped someone who inspired someone who just needed a little push to get back on track!!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ways to Burn Calories

How many calories can you burn with simple changes to your lifestyle? It turns out that the little things you do during the day make a big difference in the number of calories you burn.

Burn more calories at the office.

If you have a job that you have to sit all day remember for extended periods this could become a cause of weight gain in some people. If you have a desk job, create a habit to get up for at least 15 minutes every hour. Take a walk to the farthest restroom, run an errand, take the stairs instead of the elevator or do your filing from a standing rather than seated position.

Burn more calories while you relax.

Instead of just laying across the bed or sitting on the couch as you watch television fold laundry, dust furniture or sweep the floor while you watch tv. If you like to talk on the food, walk around during your chat instead of sitting down. 

Burn more calories with daily chores.

Spring cleaning is fast approaching so with that being said get out the mops and buckets and get ready to burn calories and you clean. I use  which allows me to see how many calories I have burned during my daily cleaning. Download the app and let me know how you like it!

Burn more calories at social events.

How many times have you entered a party at a friend's home and scanned the room for the comfy place to sit? The next time you go to a party, burn extra calories by becoming more social. Choose to stand or circle the room and talk to as many people as possible. Offer to help in the kitchen or offer to stay afterwards and clean up. I do this all the when I attend a gathering. I try my best not to sit while I'm talking to people. Also if the music is blasting make sure you dance the night away. Believe me when I say the more you dance the more calories you are burning.


Meal Planning & Shopping: How To Make a Grocery List

Okay. You all may wonder why is she blogging about grocery shopping? I thought I was doing something when I went to the market and grabbed the items that I needed, but after starting this journey back in 2009 I quickly learned that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. A shopping list list can simply include fresh foods and ready-to-eat snacks, along with additional ingredients you'll need for upcoming meals. Some foods will need to be replenished every few days and others might last longer.

What foods go on the list? For starters vegetables and fruits should make up the largest part of your grocery list. They're rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are usually low in calories. Choose a variety of green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables. I know fresh fruit and veggies can be a little on the expensive side but you have some farmer markets that are all-year round, and try and grab items that are in season.

Most of your grain and cereal products should be made from WHOLE GRAINS, not from refined flours. This part of your list includes 100-percent whole grains breads, pasta, and breakfast cereals. Please read the labels and check the ingredients before you purchase anything pertaining to whole grains.

Your protein and meat choices should consist mostly of fresh fish, poultry, and lean meats. Eggs, nuts, and seeds are also good protein choices. Avoid breaded, deep-fried convenience foods that you put in the oven. They are high in fat and sodium. (Stay away from Murray's products!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Keep beverages simple. Water, low-fat milk, juices and herbal teas are all good choices. 

Diary products should include low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you do not want cows' milk, choose soy and rice beverages or goat milk and cheese. 

Be careful with dressings, cooking oils, and condiments. They are sneaky sources or refined sugar and poor quality oils. Read labels to choose dressings made with olive oil, canola oil or walnut oil.Choose low-fay mayo for your sandwiches and choose canola oil and olive oil for cooking.

When it comes to frozen foods avoid pizza, pocket-sandwiches, deep-fried appetizers and breaded foods.

Foods in cans and jars are also convenient. Look for low-sodium soups, vegetables and sauces. Avoid high-fat gravies and high-calorie foods like canned spaghetti and ravioli products.

When it comes to lunch meats please avoid processed lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs. I know everyone loves hot dogs especially me if its cooked on the grill but its all on the amount that you eat. 

Now in 2013 I can say that it takes me a while to go grocery shopping because I read everything that I put inside of my cart. Before if it was on sale or the price was right I would grab it. Nowadays it's all about healthy living and making sure I put the right things inside of my body. Remember an extra 5min to glance at the food labels could make a difference in your weight loss!!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Excuses Are The Tools of the Weak....

Are you getting the weight loss results you want? Often, people feel that they don't have the time or the support that they need to really commit to a diet and exercise program and lose the weight. They may also feel that they don't have the access to the healthy foods or the gym that would make them lose weight. If you have ever used excuses when it came time to exercise then make today the last time you do!!!

Excuse #1 Lack of time.

Prioritize. The time that you devote to losing weight may not be the best time for you to invest in other avenues of your life. See if there are ways to put some pursuits on the backburner so that your health takes the top slot. 

Organize a schedule. Find windows of time that are not consumed by absolute necessities. Find time slots for healthy food preparation and exercise. Post the calendar in a place where you will be able to see it and use it daily. Now I have invested in a calendar from Target (6.99) and I live by this!! This helps me stay on track so I can accomplish everything that I have planned for that day.

Excuse #2 Lack of Access to Healthy Food or Exercise Facilities.

There is no doubt about food is more accessible than healthy food. And id lack of time is also an issue in your life, you probably also know that fast food is quicker. It is not surprising that many people have trouble losing weight because they don't have easy access to the right food.

The same challenge holds true for exercise. Most of us don't have a well-equipped gym and a personal trainer at our immediate disposal. So when we are already strapped for time, how do we get to the gym, learn to exercise and find time for a calorie busting workout?

Here is what I do...

When I work day work I usually pack my gym clothes with me and hit the gym at my job. When I'm working the evening shift I workout in the morning. So I may go to the gym or to Lake Montebello for a run. Also if you have On Demand on cable then you should know they have a Fitness channel which has some of the best workouts. Ranging from 10-15 min workouts, Abs, Cardio, Weights, you name it!! Just invest in some light weights, a mat and maybe a ball so you can have the basics at home. 

The path to weight loss success isn't an easy one. But if you stop using excuses you can identify and overcome the barriers that hold you back. 


Getting Support from Family & Friends

Friends and family play a major role in the success of your weight loss plan. Social support can help you stick to a diet and stay on track with a new exercise plan. But the people around you can have a negative impact as well. Sometimes, well-intentioned loved ones sabotage your success. When I first started this journey in 2009 my mother already knew that when she fixed her Sunday dinners that my food had to be baked. She supported me 110% from day one. Now my father on the other hand, yes I love him dearly but sometimes he would call me names such as "Fatty Pooh" or say things like "when are you gonna lose some weight". I know he did not mean any harm but during my heaviest times I was very sensitive to my weight.

Here are some tips that may help you...

Situation: Family gatherings focus mainly on food.

Solution: Try and encourage members of your family to offer low calorie options during family feasts. Menus are often planned out of habit and tradition. Remember old family food traditions can be blended with newer healthier options so that your weight-loss efforts aren't derailed when you sit down at the table.

Situation: Friends and family plan activities during your scheduled workout time.

Solution: It's easy for social pressure to get the best of you. Rather than trying to say "no" to attractive invitations, suggest an alternative plan instead. If a co-worker get's upset when you declined his/her happy hour invitation, see if they belong to your gym and invite them to one of your classes. 

Situation: You don't have friends who understand your weight-loss struggle.

Solution: Branch out!!! Everyone won't be on the same page as you but that should not make or break you. When I started I had two friends well two sister's rather (LaTavian & Tarina) and we supported one another daily. Everyone within my circle of friends at the time did not have the same struggle but they still showed support when needed.

Situation: Loved ones offer food as comfort during times of stress.

Solution: Be clear about expressing your needs to others. Your weight-loss journey may take place through periods of job stress or relationship problems. Just the process of dieting can churn up feelings of insecurity, helplessness and frustration. How many times have your girlfriends came over and went into the freezer and grabbed that ice cream and plenty of spoons for everyone???

When loved ones reach out to help by cooking for you or suggesting that maybe going out to dinner may help, be prepared with a response about a better way to help. Suggest a walk or a light jog or if you have kids take them to the playground or park. 

Who said this new journey was going to be easy?? I'm speaking from experience because I am still walking this journey and I can say that over the years I have learned a lot. I love how my blog has motivated my family and friends and now everyone is eager to stay on track. God is soooooo GOOD!!!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Being Consistent

It's common for many of us to eat healthy during the week only to go a little nuts on the weekend. This has been my issue for some time now and I think I have developed enough discipline so it doesn't affect me as much. Does that mean you can't ever enjoy your favorite foods? Of course  not. Building your indulgence into your diet and planning for them allows you to enjoy the things you love without completely blowing your diet.

Being consistent doesn't mean you have to robotically follow the same diet day after day. Here is what I do and it helps me to remain on track.

* Plan a cheat meal rather than a cheat day. Giving yourself an entire day to eat what you want can lead to OVERINDULGENCE that might show on your on your waistline. Instead, plan on having something you enjoy once a week. Have a pizza night or go out for burgers. Enjoy yourself and stay on track for the rest of the day.

Now I have done this and it helps me to still be able to enjoy my favorite meal without over eating through the whole day!!

* Work treats into your diet. Some people find having a small indulgence each day, like a piece of chocolate or a handful of chips, keeps them satisfied and allows them to choose healthy options the rest of the time.

* Have a plan of attack. The single most important thing you do when eating healthy is being prepared. That means having healthy foods around so you're not tempted to run out for fast food. This is why I have my SNACK BAGS with me at all times.

* Keep things balanced. Watching your calories and eating healthy is important, but so is enjoying life and not obsessing about everything we eat. We all have to find the right balance. 

* Don't give up. There will come a day when you eat too much cake or have the one extra piece of chicken you shouldn't have. We all overindulge at times but many of us use that as an excuse to quit and go back to old, unhealthy behaviors. One mistake isn't the end of the world and, even if you've really fallen off the wagon, you can always get right back on track by simply making the decision to not give up.

Remember this doesn't happen over night. You will have your moments when you fall off track and yes I have plenty of times because I am human. But you know what, I just dusted myself off and got back on track and started over. I knew I had a goal to reach and without support from my family and believing in myself I wouldn't have made it.


Cooking Tips to Cut Fat and Cut Calories

This is something new that I am working on and I wanted to share a few details with my readers. If you're like me then you want to cut fat and cut calories from your diet, your best bet is to cook at home. By preparing your own foods, you control the type of ingredients in your food and the portion sizes of each meal. 

#1 Stock your kitchen with good cooking tools.

* Non-stick pans. One of the best weight-loss tips is to prepare recipes with non-stick pans. Much of the fat used in the preparation of meals serves to prevent sticking during the cooking process. By using non-stick pans, you can add a small amount of olive oil or other healthy fat to complement the taste of your food. Now I was raised by old-school parents meaning my mother used her black cast iron frying pans along with her can of grease she kept on the back of the stove. For me switching over to non-stick pans wasn't easy but I'm glad that I made the switch.

* Single-serving containers. One of the most important weight-loss tips is to control portion size. (see folks how portion sizes play a huge role in the way we eat!!!) Make your healthy-cooking efforts pay off throughout the week. Divide a large pt of food into reasonable portions neatly packaged in a single-serving containers. The mini-meals you create will be easy to access when you're hurry and are much healthier for you. They are also more likely to be lower in calories and lower in sodium than the single-serving meals that you purchase in the freezer section of the grocery store.

*** IKEA has some of the best single serving containers that are inexpensive however Walmart and Target have them as well. I will post some photos of the containers that I have to give you all an idea of what to look for. 

# Cut calories with basic substitutions.

* Chicken stock. I LOVE THIS!!!!! I use it all the time and trust me when I tell you it works wonders. Chicken stock is a great substitute for oil, cream or butter. Stock helps keep food moist and prevents food from sticking. For example, when preparing sauteed vegetables use chicken stock instead of olive oil or butter to add flavor. Using chicken stock will cut calories and fat.

* White beans. Another one of my favorites that I just started to use. Creamy soup recipes often call for cream or whole milk to achieve the thick texture. But pureed white beans can do the same thing without adding significant calories. Try this the next time you prepare your favorite cream soup at the end of the cooking process, when the cream is added, take one can of white beans and puree the beans using a food processor or blender. Add small amounts of the puree to your soup until it meets the consistency you desire. This healthy cooking tip will help cut fat and calories while adding protein to your soup.

It may seem like a lot of work to practice healthy cooking at home. But these weight loss tips will help you cut fat and calories from each of your meals. As you get used to these tips for cooking, you'll learn to save time, you'll feel better about the food you eat and you'll find greater success on your weight loss program.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Portion vs. Serving

Do you know the difference between serving size and portion size? If you are trying to lose weight, improve your eating habits, or change the way your body looks you need to understand how portions and servings are different. Confusing them could ruin your diet. Let me be the first to say that I was confused as to what was the correct portion or serving size that I needed to have when I first started. It took a lot of trial and errors to get this correct.

What is a serving?

Serving size is the amount of any single food that you should eat when you sit down at mealtime. The easiest way of figuring out the serving size of your food is to check the Nutrition Facts Label. 

What is a Portion?

A portion size is the amount of food that you actually consume at a mealtime or at a snack time. For example, let's say you snack on Smart Popcorn low-calorie. A serving size, according to the Nutrition Facts label is 7.5 cups. But there are two servings in each full size bag. But there are two servings in each full size bag. So if you eat the whole bag, your portion size was 15 cups. Which means you just over ate!!!!

Keep in mind that portion size is the key when you record your food intake (if you keep a food journal). When you record a food that you've eaten, it's easy to write down what you ate without paying attention to serving size and portion size. 

Let's say you eat Cheerios in the morning for breakfast. If you fill a large bowl, you are probably eating more than one serving, which is one cup. And often, cereal eaters (like myself) refill the bowl, which only adds to the portion size. 

This is what I HIGHLY SUGGEST you invest in some measuring cups!! You can't go wrong and it teaches you to watch what you are consuming so you will get the results you were looking for at the end.


Geez...It's Monday Already?

Happy Monday....or should I re-phrase that and say "what happened to the weekend?" If you're like me some people need coffee in the morning to start the day, especially a Monday. Do you think about the number of calories you consume when you order your morning coffee drink? If you are trying to lose weight, you probably should. Some popular drinks from Starbucks and other popular spots (7-11 or Dunkin Donuts) contain up to 700 calories. If you add a breakfast sandwich along with hash browns, you could easily consume an entire day's calories before you start your morning.

Here are some Low-Calorie Coffee Drinks (under 100 calories) 

* Tall Skinny Latte (100 calories, 0 grams fat, 15 grams of carbs)
* Skinny Cappuccino (60 calories, 0 grams, 9 grams carbs) The great thing about cappuccino is the foam. The light fluffy top of this drink makes you feel like you're drinking something more decadent and fattening.
* Iced Skinny Flavored Latte (60 calories, 0 grams, 9 grams carbs) Add your favorite sugar0free flavor syrup. Try vanilla, hazelnut, or almond.
* Brewed Coffee (Brewed coffee and espresso contain essentially no calories)

If you already have a coffee drink that you love, use these tips to lower the fat and calorie count of the drink. 

* Skip the whipped cream. Don't even bother adding the whipped cream It melts into the coffee anyway and you can barely taste it.

* Go nonfat. Always start your coffee drink order by stating you want nonfat milk. Some menu boards may advertise that a drink is low-calorie but the barista may use 2% milk, which has a higher fat and calorie content.

* Say yes to foam. If your drink is topped with foam, ask for extra foam. The foam takes up more space in the drink and you decrease the amount of milk used and the number of calories in the drink.

* Add ice (or extra ice). Any drink with ice will have less calories than its hot alternative because the ice has no calories. For a drink that is already iced, ask for extra ice and you'll get a drink that is less milky, cooler and more refreshing.

* Use sugar-free syrups. Flavor syrups are popular additions to coffee drinks, but they are almost pure sugar. Opt for the sugar-free version to cut calories.

* Smaller is better. By the time you get to the coffee counter in the morning, you might order the largest size available out of habit, exhaustion or desperation. For some of us, the need for a coffee fix in the morning is substantial. You might be surprised to find out that you need less caffeine than you think.

Now listen carefully, you don't have to give up the trip to Starbucks just because you're on a diet. If you love your morning java fix, keep it on the morning menu. But learn to order low-calorie coffee drinks instead. 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Get Motivated to Lose Weight

Now let me share something with you all, becoming discipline to workout takes time and will not happen overnight. There are some days I feel like skipping the gym but I think back to how I used to look and that is something I vowed to myself that I would not do again. This was explained to me by a close friend who was able to share some light on ways to get me motivated.

There are two kinds of motivation (this was new to me) extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is the inspiration that comes from an external source, outside of you. For example, if your doctor tells you that you need to lose weight, you maybe externally motivated to go on a diet out of fear of poor health. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from within. If you exercise because of the sense of accomplishment you achieve at the end of the workout your source of motivation is intrinsic. So in other words, if you choose a healthy snack because it makes you feel better about yourself, you are internally motivated. Make sense??

People often begin an exercise or weight loss program for external reasons: their clothes don't fit, their doctor has told them they need to lose weight, family and friends have put pressure on them to slim down. Extrinsic motivation can also be helpful when you need a gentle nudge to achieve short-term goals. For example, you might know that exercise is good for you, you may even know that you'll feel better after you complete a workout, but on some days you might still struggle to get to the gym. On those days, promise yourself a healthy reward. ( I do this all the time and it works!!) 

A few pointers for internal motivation:

* Set short-term goals. Set yourself up for success by setting very short-term achievable goals. Your long-term goal might be to lose 30 pounds, but a good short-term goal might be to eat a lean healthy breakfast each day during the week. If a weekly goal seems too broad, set a goal for just one day to start out with. 

* Keep a journal. Write out each goal in a journal. At the end of the day, comment on the day's success. Keep in mind that just taking the time to write in your journal is healthy and an accomplishment in itself. 

* Acknowledge your success. Take time to review your successes and give yourself credit.

Remember as you move through the process of fostering internal motivation, you'll find that your confidence in y our own abilities will increase.When you acknowledge the success of small accomplishments, it becomes easier to believe that larger goals are attainable. You begin to believe in yourself and in your ability to change your health by changing your weight.


Emotional Eating

Happy Friday Readers!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I've been asked to talk about "Emotional Eating". I used have this problem a few years ago but after reading many articles I was able to educate myself on a few things that I am going to share with you all.

Emotional eating is a relatively common problem for both men and women (believe it or not).  If you eat in response to your feelings, especially when you are not hungry, you are an emotional eater. Some emotional eaters binge when they are sad or confused; for others, eating can be a way of avoiding thinking about problems or taking the action required to solve them. Just think about the last time you broke up with your ex and how you grabbed a spoon and ate ice cream straight from the container or grabbed a bag of chips/chocolate because you were depressed or upset. 

How many people turn to a carrot stick or apple when they're feeling stressed? It's the high-fat, high calorie foods we love that make us feel better; the more fattening, sweeter or saltier the food, the better we seem to feel. 

I know for me I would feel ashamed or guilty after I ate. I can remember to my first years on the police force when I had a bad night and I was thinking did I make the right decision as to becoming a cop. After work I went home and ate ice cream then I topped it off with two slices of my mom's homemade pound cake. Afterwards I felt so guilty for eating all of that knowing I wasn't really hungry but it was how I felt that made it worse.

Ask yourself these questions and this will determine if you are an emotional eater:

* After an argument do you eat even if you aren't feeling hungry?
* Do you feel the urge to eat in response to seeing a food advertised on television?
* Do you eat because you feel there's nothing else to do?


Kitchen Tools

So yesterday I made a trip to Target (my favorite store!!!!!!) and I decided that in order for me to eat the correct servings per size I needed to make sure I had the right tools. So for 3.99 and 4.99 I was able to add these to my kitchen collection!!! So now when I cook I can make sure I'm just eating for one serving and not two!!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Healthy Snacks: Tips & Recipes

Good Afternoon Readers!!! 

Sometimes the hardest part of being on a diet isn't mealtime, but the time between meals when  you are tempted to eat too much of the wrong foods. Even if you only choose to bring healthy snacks into your home, there may be high calorie, high fat food at work or social events. 

Some tips that I live by that I am passing onto my readers:

* Put your snacks on a plate. Even healthy snacks can contribute to weight gain if you eat too much of them. Try to avoid eating directly out of a bowl or serving dish, which can lead to over-eating. Choose small portions of a few healthy foods and put them on a small individual plate so you can easily monitor the amount of food you are eating. 

* Avoid mindless eating. Try not to eat in front of the television or computer. It's easy to lose track of how much you're eating not paying attention to the food. 

* Fill up on fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits and vegetables make the best healthy snacks. They are low in calories and generally high in fiber. Fill up on these foods first before even looking at higher-calorie snacks. If you are invited to an event, offer to bring fruits or a veggie tray so you know for a fact there is something healthy for you to snack on.

* Limit Alcohol. Not only are alcoholic drinks loaded with calories, but the more you drink, the harder it is to exercise discipline when you are around snack foods that you crave. If you are at an event (happy hour, party, bar, etc...) where friends will be drinking, choose one lower-calorie drink, such as a glass of wine. Then refill your glass with sparkling water or club soda with a lime. 


Common Portion Size Mistakes

You might think you are doing a good job of sticking to your diet and eating healthy. But if you still feel fat, chances are good that you are overeating some foods. Almost everyone makes portion size mistakes (including myself!!)

No matter what kind of food you are eating, serving size matters. Even if you are eating "healthy" food, your portion size should match the recommended serving size. 

Cereal: When was the last time you measured your cereal before pouring it into a bowl? Have you checked the Nutrition Facts Label to determine the correct serving size? At first I didn't  bother to look but now I do this all the time. If you pour your cereal straight into the bowl, chances are good you are eating up to 2 servings.

Chicken Breast: Lean protein is healthy. Not if you eat too much of it. If you are eating a whole chicken breast dinner, you might be eating too much. A serving of chicken is 3-4 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards. Some people use the palm of their hand as a guide. 

Coffee Creamer: This might be the most fattening thing you consume all day. And you're not off the hook if you the fat-free variety. A single serving of liquid creamer is one tablespoon. Do you pull out the measuring spoon when you add cream to your coffee? Nope!!

Cooking Spray: You might skip the oil and butter when preparing your meals. This is good! But you might be neglecting to account fort he calories in your cooking spray. If you use PAM to avoid adding calories to your food you might want to know that a single serving of the spray is 1/3 of one second. Do you keep a stopwatch in your kitchen? 

Bread: If you pack yourself a healthy lunch with lean meat sandwich, kudos to you! But did you accurately record the calories in your whole grain bread? Remember a single serving is only one slice a bread!!!!

Fruit: A healthy serving of fresh fruit is great! But if you are counting calories or watching your sugar intake you need to monitor how much you are eating. For example, if you sit down with a bowl of grapes, you might add one serving of grapes to your food diary. A single cup serving of grapes is only 16 grapes. So the next time just make sure you count!!

Salad Dressing: A healthy salad is a great alternative to any greasy lunch! But the salad dressing can add calories that could make any prudent calorie counter blush, including me!!! A serving size of salad dressing is usually 2 tablespoons, so keep that in mind!

You can measure your portions easily if you equip your kitchen with essential measuring tools. So this way you can make sure you are eating the right amount per serving!!!


Are You a Junk Food Addict?

Growing up like most kids I was addicted the typical junk food. Who didn't hit the corner store more than twice a day for those 0.25 cent bags of chips!!! Well back then things were different. As a child I was very active, I mean I can remember staying outside all day until the infamous street lights came on. 

So as an adult those same junk foods are now my enemy!! I have friends who have to have chips and candy on a daily basis. It's almost like being an addict...hold up..they are when it comes to junk food. So here are some ways to kick this habit without going cold turkey.

One of the first steps in kicking the habit is DON"T BUY THEM. It's that simple. This is where the discpline comes into play. Do you have it what it takes to not add that bag of chips or cheetos into the cart? If you have small kids like myself it's ok to buy for them but you have to have self-control in order to not take a bag for yourself.

Instead buy more fruits, veggies and nuts and other healthy snacks to rid you of your addiction. I can remember I had to have an oatmeal cream pie at least twice a week and now I see myself buying them for my daughter. Have I had one? NOPE!! Just because I am avoiding the junk food doesn't mean I have to deprive my child. However I won't allow her to eat junk food on a daily basis but as a small kid I know they all love chips and on certain holidays she had candy and oh yea how I can forget my mother who spoils her with everything!!

This is why I keep my snack bag with me at all times for this main reason. This allows me to avoid those quick stops to the store while I'm at work and grabbing that .99 cent bag of chips (Salt n Vinegar) to be exact! Those were my favorite back in the day. Now when I see how much sodium is in one bag it makes me sick to my stomach.

Bottom line is this....if you don't buy can't eat it!! If someone offers you some...if you say won't eat it. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You Can Do It

This is one of my favorite messages taken from "Acts of Faith" by Iyanla Vanzant. In so many ways this has helped me get through the toughest times when I was ready to throw in the towel. Especially when I wasn't seeing results fast enough.

You are the only one who can do it like you do it. You are the best. You have what it takes. You've got juice. You've got the power. You and only you have what you have, and nobody can take that away from you. You come from the best, the beginning, the source. You are destined to be great. You inherited a legacy of success from those who came before you. They knew you could do it, too! You are the light in life. You light up the world. You make life worth living. You can't lose with the stuff you use. You are you. You are the one who makes the bed. You call the shots. You stand heads above the crowd. They can't hold a candle to you. When you put your mind to something, you get it done.

So what are you waiting for?


Just a few FYIs

These are just a few pointers that have helped me a long the way with staying on track. I hope it helps you just as it helped me!!


You should read food labels like your Facebook feed!! No seriously..nowadays you need to be aware of what you are putting in your mouth that can harm your body in the long run.

If you see the following...don't EAT!

* Simple Sugars
* Enriched, bleached or refined flour.
* High frutose corn syrup.
* Saturated fat
* Trans fat

Putting them into your body is like dunking your cell phone in a glass of water. It'll cause your system to short out your hormones and send your body confusing messages about eating.

#2 Quench Your Thirst (Don't Feed It)

In other words...drink plenty of water on a daily basis. If your like me I add a few lemon slices to my water which adds a little flavor to it!!

#3 Limit Your Alcohol Intake

For weight loss, avoid drinking excessive alcohol not solely because of its own calories, but also because of the calories it inspires you to consume later. When I started my change I gave up drinking altogether. I know some people just have to hit up a happy hour or two and have a few drinks. However I will post a blog later listing some better choices to drinking for those that just have to have a drink!!

#4 Eat the Right Kinds of Carbs

Make sure you eat whole grains and vegetables and stay away from the processed snack foods and baked goods. 


Which One Are You?

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

When it comes to changing your lifestyle you have to first make sure this is something you want to do. I'm not saying that this is going to be a easy ride because it's not. I'm speaking from experience. When I first knew that I wanted to do a complete change I had to ask myself, " was I ready for this drastic change and would I be able to commit to it?"

I was thinking about it but....I was going to but...I want to but...I wish I could but...These are the excuses we give for sitting on our butts. We tell ourselves we are waiting for something to happen. We tell ourselves something is missing. We tell other people we will do it, whatever it may be, but we never do.

One thing about me is that once I set my mind on doing something it is hard to make me fall off. Meaning I am very discipline to things that I want. I knew that I wanted to look and feel a certain way but if I continued with my old habits that was not going to happen.

So what I am saying its not to late to want to change. Don't be one of those people who sit around and wait for it to happen. Get up and Get Motivated!!!


To Eat or Not To Eat?

Good Morning....

For the most part I will be posting first thing in the morning before I get my work day started. Some of my friends have been asking me to post somethings about breakfast foods. I have a good friend of mine who is health blogger and he advised that I share this with you all. So here are some of the items you should avoid. 

Starbucks Blueberry Scone
460 calories
22 g fat
61 g carbs

Just because it has blueberries in it doesn't mean this breakfast bread is healthy. In fact, scones and other quick breads come loaded with so much butter and cream that their saturated fat counts are anything but. Here, this "light" morning snack accounts for more than half of your day's suggested saturated fat intake.

Instead try and eat this:

Starbucks Egg White Spinach & Feta Wrap which has only 390 calories, 10 g fat, 28 g protein and 6 g fiber. 

Panera Grilled Bacon, Egg and Cheese

510 calories
25 g fat
43 g carbs

Even with the fatty strips of bacon, this sandwich really shouldn't be that bad. So what's the culprit? The bread. Besides the Power Sandwich, all of Panera's breakfast sandwiches come on either thick pieces of ciabatta or doughy bagels. These can add anywhere from 230-350 calories per sandwich. Compare that with the relatively modest 150 calories provided by the Power Sandwich's whole-grain miche and the choice is clear.

Instead try this: Pannera Breakfast Power Sandwich with an Apple which has 420 calories and 15 g fat!!!

McDonald's Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddles

560 calories
32 g fat
48 g carbs

This McGriddle is the perfect example of what can go wrong when you pick up a quick-and-easy breakfast. For its modest size, it packs way too many calories while also providing 60 percent of your day's saturated fat and over half of your recommended daily intake of sodium. The old mantra holds true: Big things really do come in small packages.

When it comes to McDonald's I wouldn't suggest anything in this replacement. Avoid this altogether in my opinion. LOL!!!

To be honest if you have a hectic job like myself it's best to just pack your own breakfast. Now when I'm on day work hours my squad typically goes out to eat every morning for breakfast. If do decide to eat I always get oatmeal with fruit on the side. Remember when you pack your own food not only are you saving money but you are one step closer to your goal. At times it may seem like you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel but trust are!!!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Some Tips I Live By

For those that know me personally they know that I work a hectic schedule that rotates a lot!! With that being said I have learned over the years that in order for me to eat the right foods, what better way it is to just pack everything.

So basically it depends what shift I'm working to be honest. If its day work hours then I usually pack breakfast and a light lunch along with plenty of lemons (for my water) and a some fruit to get me through the day. If  I'm working evening work (3-11pm) then I have dinner with me along with some fruit and maybe a yogurt. Being a Detective means that sometimes I get stuck on crime scenes and with working in the City the only stores that are in walking distance are your local corner stores which typically don't offer any healthy picks in my opinion. So I always have a snack bag on standby!!

So my snack bag today consisted of a Special K Bar and a banana and let's just say that I am so glad that I packed them both. This work day has kept me from the office since this morning with no lunch insight.

Also if you work in an office setting then everyone knows about the dreadful vending machine. Well here in my building we have several and to be honest there is no healthy choices by far. Just take a look at this photo for a second...several bags of chips, candy bars, pop tarts and tasty cakes!! EPIC FAIL!!!! This is why you need to just get in the habit of packing your snacks to avoid this!!!!


Salads You Should Not Eat

After doing some research I found out some interesting salads that we should try to avoid.

Friendly’s Kickin’ Buffalo Chicken Salad

1,180 calories
95 g fat (19 g saturated)
2,090 mg sodium

Don’t be fooled by the lettuce—it’s simply a foil for the hunks of deep-fried meat, oily wing sauce, cheese, and cream-based blue cheese dressing. This salad is, in fact, more damaging than the hot wings that inspired it. (It has 66 percent more calories than a full order of Applebee's wings!) Instead, opt for the tuna melt and salad combo, the sole menu option to keep both calories and sodium in check.

Baja Fresh Steak Tostada Salad

1,230 calories
63 g fat (17 g saturated, 2 g trans)
2,380 mg sodium

Props to Baja Fresh for introducing lower-calorie entrĂ©es like Bare Burritos and Baja Ensaladas, but that doesn’t excuse the more nefarious offerings like the 2,000-calorie nachos and this fat-drenched salad that comes served in a deep-fried tortilla receptacle. Don’t let the novelty suck you in. There’s still nothing better than the Original Baja Tacos paired with a side of fiber-rich beans.

Outback Steakhouse Aussie Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard

1,288 calories
98 g fat (32 g saturated, 2.2 g trans)
2,096 mg sodium

Cobb might as well stand for “Corrupted by Oil, Bread & Bacon.” These iconic salads’ toppings include croutons, cheese, bacon, and an oft-fried protein, and they tend to be topped with heavier dressings. In the case of Outback, this salad contains more fat than 64 ounces—that’s four pounds—of the chain’s Victoria Filet. The Shrimp Caesar is the lightest salad on the menu, and it comes with 25 grams of lean protein.

California Pizza Kitchen Moroccan Chicken Salad (full)

1,370 calories
12 g saturated fat
1,040 mg sodium

At 116 grams, this salad has more carbohydrates than most of the pasta dishes on the menu. Then there’s the saturated fat. With the exception of the Sicilian or the Meat Cravers, you could eat half of any thin crust pizza on the menu and take in the same amount or less. Try the new Quinoa and Arugula Salad instead. Despite being a seed, quinoa supplies the same amino acids as meat, making it an excellent vegetarian source of protein.

Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Chicken Salad

1,720 calories
17 g saturated fat
2,636 mg sodium

Tex-Mex salad iterations are rarely light, what with all the sour cream, guacamole, and creamy dressings. But wait—this salad can’t claim any of those usual culprits! The only two potentially troublesome toppings are cheese and tortilla strips, but how much damage could they possibly do? Well, based on these numbers—and the fact that their inclusion appears to be the main difference between the Santa Fe and the Skinnylicious salad below—a lot. Order accordingly.


Following My Lead

This is the same blog as I had before back when I first started my weight journey in 2009. It was created to inspire, coach, and motivate my friends and family that were facing the same struggles I had encountered. Just a brief history of me and my journey....

The Beginning

In 2009 I weighed 218lbs and wore a size 18. I blamed everyone and everything for the increase in my weight and did not want to take full responsibility for my lack of exercising. Growing up I was always active and for the most part wore a size 12. I was able to shop in my favorite stores without taking multiple clothing sizes with me. Reality struck me when I saw a dress in H & M and it was a 14. I was in denial so I grabbed a 14 along with a 16 and 18 and could not fit any of them. I sat in that dressing room crying until one of the workers came and asked me was everything okay. With that being said I called my best friend LaTavian who also was in the same boat as me and we decided that it was time to take control of our bodies and get back into shape.

The Fight

I had to change the types of food I ate. I cleaned out my kitchen and got rid of the junk. I made an appointment with a nutritionist who provided with me a list of foods I needed to start eating as well as getting me back into the gym. This was not easy folks!!! I literally cried after every workout but I knew the goal that I had to reach. Once I started this journey I thought that it would be cool to create a blog showcasing my struggle and hopes that others would start to follow my lead...and they did!!! The first blog (same name however since it was inactive they deleted me!!! lol) featured things I ate and updated information to keep everyone on the same page. I offered daily inspirational words of encouragement because I know that some people need to be motivated in order to reach there goals. So we started in Jan. 2009 (size 18) and by Nov. 2009 I was able to wear a size 8!!! Talk about being focused!!


Now everyone knows that once the weight is off its easy to gain it back. Well I did..but I only went up to a 10!! I have learned through the years that I don't diet...this is my lifestyle. This is the way that I live. I have dealt with the fact that I won't be a perfect size or weight but as long as I continue to eat right, stay active, drink plenty of water and motivate/encourage my followers then I will be FINE!!! So this is why I have re-created my blog. A few of my friends asked me why did I stop blogging and my response was LIFE!! I am a mother to a very energetic 3yr girl, I work full time as a Detective but to be honest I now have the ability to update my blog on a daily basis.

Thanks to a few of my friends who missed my blog... It's BACK!!!!!!!