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Health and Fitness Blog 101

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Mindful or Mindless Eating

Posted by larends on January 31, 2015
Posted in Health and Fitness 

healthy plateHave you ever started eating something and before you know it, it’s gone?  A whole bag of chips, a whole bag of cookies, a pint of ice cream.  When you eat something and you aren’t thinking about it, you tend to eat more.  This is mindless eating.  This can happen so easily when you aren’t paying attention.  People are busy these days, so they try to multitask and eat while they do other things.  A lot of people eat while they work, while watching TV, while working on the computer, when they are at a sporting event, or even when they are driving.  When they eat while doing other things, they may not thoroughly enjoy the food and they don’t realize how much they are eating.  They may even forget how much they’ve eaten.  There’s proven research that shows people eat more when they are not concentrating on eating.

On the other hand, when you concentrate on what you are eating, you not only enjoy your food, but your mind and stomach register that you have eaten and you feel satisfied.  It’s important to be a mindful eater and pay attention to what you are eating.  You should eat your food slowly and enjoy each bite. When families sit down to eat together at the dinner table, they tend to eat better and eat less.

When you are in a hurry and grab food on the run, you are more likely to grab unhealthy foods.  Then when you are gone, you get hungry because your appetite was not satisfied and the fastest options to grab are more unhealthy foods.  This is a great reason to keep healthy snacks available in your car or at work, so you don’t choose the unhealthy options.

I found myself doing some mindless eating after Christmas.  There were so many snacks, candy, and cookies leftover from the holidays that I found myself munching on them every time I walked in the kitchen.  I’d even snack on junk while I was making dinner.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it half the time.  This is another reason you should make sure there are not unhealthy foods sitting out.  It’s too easy to eat a little here and a little there.  Keep healthy snacks readily available to eat when you are making meals, so you aren’t tempted by the snacks.

Take the time when you are eating something to really taste the food.  Chew it completely and focus on the taste and the texture.  Really enjoy it.  Use a smaller plate and fill it when you sit down to eat with ¼ healthy protein, ¼ whole grains, and the other half of the plate should be 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruits.  If you see a full plate, your brain registers all that food and as you eat slowly, your stomach receives the message that you are satisfied.  Eating slowly gives your body time to digest the food so you feel full.

Make a commitment to eat all meals and snacks at the table and really focus on the food.  Don’t eat snacks in front of the television.  If you only eat in the kitchen, you will cut down on the mindless eating.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes.

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Find Your Inspiration

Posted by larends on January 10, 2015
Posted in Health and Fitness 

I recently interviewed a friend that had lost weight the old fashioned way and looks great!
Her name is Cara and she made a commitment and stuck with it.  I wanted people to hear from someone that was successful in losing weight and to hear how she did it.  She used a
lot of the same suggestions that I have posted on my blog.  Below is my interview with Cara.

  • I understand you lost weight recently. To what do you attribute your success?
    I attribute my success to pure will and determination. Losing weight is extremely difficult, but if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.
  • What inspired you to lose weight?
    I saw pictures of myself at a wedding and I was unhappy with the way I looked and I was almost 200lbs on the scale, that was a real motivator.
  • What kept you motivated to continue to lose weight?
    Each week when I would see a 2-3lb loss and even when it was a small amount the number on the scale was a huge motivator and my Weight Watcher’s leader was a big motivator as well.
  • Did anyone encourage you?
    I attend Weight Watchers weekly so the support you get from your peers and leader is great. My family and friends also encouraged me.
  • How much weight did you lose?
    So far I’ve lost 40 lbs give or take depending on the week :-)
  • How do you feel about your accomplishment?
    It feels great to be down about 40 lbs.  You don’t realize how much that is until it’s gone. I never felt like I was overweight but obviously I was and it was very eye opening.
  • What things did you find worked best for you?
    Weight Watchers has a simple start plan that worked great for me. I don’t like to count points or calories. I just want to eat good food and as MUCH as possible and you can do that when you’re eating healthy fruits, veggies and lean meats and SPICES.  It’s got to taste good so I learned to jazz up my food with herbs and spices.
  • What is your exercise regiment or routine?
    I do not like exercise in the least little bit so I would take things like cleaning and turn that into a workout or play outside with my kids (baseball, football).  I like to ride a bike and I would go for walks occasionally with friends so it’s more of a social hour than a “workout”.
  • What do you eat in a typical day?
    I do not miss breakfast that’s a major change I made.  I never used to eat breakfast, but now I eat something like a Special K breakfast sandwich or oatmeal (which I hate but it is filling and good for you). The rest of the day I just try to make good healthy choices but I also allow myself indulgences otherwise I would not make it and end up binging on junk food.  I try not to eat late, that was a BIG problem before, but if I am hungry I’ll reach for veggies and a low fat dip vs. high fat processed snacks.
  • Did you have a weight loss goal?
    I did.  My goal was to reach 150 lbs.  I keep waffling between 5-10 lbs of that goal, but if I never hit it, I’m still happy with the results I’ve attained at this point.
  • Did you have trouble sticking to your weight loss goal?
    Yes.  It was very hard in the beginning, but after about a month and the first few weeks of weigh-ins that showed pretty good losses I was hooked and that made it easier to stick with.
  • How long did it take you to lose the weight?
    It’s taken me about 10 months to get to this point.
  • What was the hardest thing you dealt with while losing weight?
    Cravings and changing my habits,  I never ate breakfast so making sure I did that daily was hard and then not eating bad things late at night but I just switched out high fat snacks for healthy things like veggies and fat free dip or fruit and that helped.

Thanks so much to Cara for allowing me to interview her.  Cara is definitely an inspiration to all of us.  I’m sure a lot of us can relate to the challenges Cara faced and overcame.

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Find a Fitness Partner

Posted by larends on January 5, 2015
Posted in Health and Fitness 

leah and nicoleMy daughter came home from college for Christmas break.  I love it when she is home, not just because I miss seeing her, but she is a great fitness partner.  Sometimes she helps get me motivated to exercise and sometimes I motivate her.  It’s good to have a fitness partner to keep you on track and keep you accountable.  It’s easy to lose focus when you just rely on yourself to stay motivated.  Many people have an internal drive to help them stay on track, but it doesn’t hurt to have an accountability partner to encourage you and remind you of what’s important.

If you become friends with those that strive to eat healthy and exercise, you will be more likely to do so yourself.  Plus, they will most likely help keep you accountable and encourage you to stay on track.  Many people like to help others and to feel needed.

When you have someone that you work out with on a regular basis, you can encourage each other and remind each other to work out.  You will be more likely to stick to it, so you don’t disappoint them.

My daughter also likes to cook and she makes some good healthy meals.  She made a really good fajita meal in the crock pot that was easy and healthy.  Here is the recipe:

Crock Pot Fajitas

  • 1 each red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers
  • ¼ cup of sliced onions
  • 3 breasts of boneless chicken
  • 1 package taco or fajita seasoning

Place bell peppers on bottom of crock pot.  Then cover with onion.  Place chicken breasts on top and cover with taco or fajita seasoning.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Shred chicken with a fork.  Mix all together.  Warm up tortillas (use whole grain to be healthier).  Add chicken mixture to tortilla; add shredded cheese and salsa (if desired).  This recipe is delicious!

My daughter has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Wayne State University and is getting her Master’s Degree in Wellness Management at Ball State University.

So go out and find a fitness partner that can help you reach your fitness goals.  If you are having trouble finding someone, join a gym or fitness support group to meet people that will be a good mentor.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There are a lot of people out there that want to help you achieve your goals.  Groups like Weight Watchers are successful because they provide support and encouragement to those that want to lose weight.

My next blog post will be an interview that I did with a friend that was successful at losing weight and how she did it.

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