Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Blogfest

Today I am taking part in the Get Healthy Blogfest being hosted by: Alex Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolfe , Michael Di Gesu, and Stephen Tremp, a  Blog Hop that focuses  on health. 

Funnily enough I have been trying to do something about my weight since January FitDayand have been helped by the programme FitDay where you can record everything you eat each day to keep a track of your intake. They call themselves a Free Diet and Weight Loss Journal and that’s exactly what it is, FREE. I have been dieting since I was 11 years old and have found over the years that recording your food intake is one of the best ways to help lose weight. There are several similar programmes on the internet including Weight Watchers which, unfortunately, you have to pay to use. It is essential one cuts back one’s nutritional intake to lose weight, but at the same time it is essential that we consume a healthy balance of nutrients, including some fats which most people avoid like the plague. You cannot be healthy without a well balanced diet.

Exercise is great if you can do it. Unfortunately these days I cannot do much Walkingalthough its not too many years since I used to walk 4 miles a day and the weight really dropped off me. You really don’t need to spend lots of time in a gymnasium, walking is wonderful exercise and doesn’t cost anything. People often excuse themselves as they say they have no time, not true, if nothing else, turn off the TV and get out there. You can start off small and gradually increase the amount you walk. Even walking three times a week is good to start off with. Of course if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow and ice in the winter, then you have to go somewhere to walk. Many Malls open early to accommodate Mall walkers, again, FREE. As most of you know, Matt and I go bowling which is not bad exercise, you would be surprised how many calories that uses up. I also bought myself a treadmill a few years ago and am trying to get back to using that. Slow build up, but its coming along.

Butter BudsI am always on about asparagus, but that is a great health food just on its own. I often cook myself some and put Butter Buds on, unfortunately Butter Buds aren’t available in Canada, but in the US you have no excuse. I love that product it is good to add to many foods such as baked potatoes and corn. Although please don’t eat too much of either.

If you are not sure of just what is a good menu for losing weight, there are many sources on the internet which will help you with just that. FitDay itself has a nutritionist available – I’ve never sought that help myself, but after having weight Curvesproblems all my life, I have an excellent idea of what I should eat and how much, just don’t stick to it all the time unfortunately. I have lost 16 lbs. this year, but have quite a few more to go. If I had kept off all the weight I have lost in my life you wouldn’t be able to see me. Weight Watchers is also a great place to go but you have to pay to join and then pay every week. However they do give you good support and motivation a thing which helps most people. You can also, as a woman, join Curves which is a good place to exercise. I used to belong but with my leg problems had to quit. There is a similar place for men but I can never remember what it’s called.

Last, but not least, is T'ai Chi or T'ai Chi Chuan . I started learning some 15 or so years ago and whilst I was practicing regularly I felt fit and well. Like a fool, I have let it lapse and plan to start doing it again regularly although I don't have a lot of room to do T'ai Chi any more. The Chinese believe that it stimulates chi or energy in the body and this affects your mind, body and spirit, it is a wonderful exercise for balance both physically and mentally. The stories of people who have survived longer than expected because of practicing T'ai Chi are endless, I can't praise it highly enough myself. I still do a little now and then but need to get back to a regular habit once more. The Chinese know what they are talking about. I had originally tried to learn from a video, I found that virtually impossible but whilst living in North Carolina I was lucky enough to find a sifu (teacher) and studied with her for a number of years before we came back to Canada.

Finally, of course, if you have been reading my blogs lately, you will know I now possess a CPAP machine which is supposed to help me sleep well and not snore, and not gasp for breath during the night. I think it is beginning to work. Yesterday I felt pretty good all day.

Here is a Weight Watcher’s recipe we have been using for years and thoroughly enjoy. For some reason you can't see the carrot which makes the dish look prettier.

Pork and Black Beans

Turkey breast can be subbed for pork.

Pork & Black Beans
4 servings
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/3 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
5 oz. lean pork tenderloin
1 tsp EVOO
2 tbs white vinegar
One 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 carrot, finely diced (we prefer this shredded)
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tomato, diced
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tbs chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, paprika, cumin and salt; rub into the pork.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Sauté the pork until browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Halve the pork lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices.

Add the vinegar to the pan drippings (stand back whilst doing this, the fumes are pungent) and simmer, stirring, until the acidity cooks off, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrot and lime juice, cook, tossing, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the pork, tomato, onion and cilantro; toss to combine. Serve.

Per serving: 190 calories, 3 g. Total fat, 1 g sat fat, 23 mg Cholesterol, 163 mg Sodium, 26g Total Carbs, 3 g dietary fibre, 16 g protein, 30 mg calcium. WW Points 3.

Have a great day.
Jo

52 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - good for you .. and I can identify with much of your post ... we had a Curves here in Eastbourne, which I tried for a while but like you had to give it up ... I'm going to do Tina's suggestion of Feldenkruis .. and I am walking a lot more, doing a version of Tai Chi ..

    Well done on losing 16lbs .. and like you I'm cutting right down on food .. ie eating less.

    Cheers and good luck .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You too Hilary. Trouble is, as one gets older, it becomes more difficult not to mention all the medications make it difficult as well.

      Delete
  2. That recipe looks yummy! You sound like you have a well thought out plan, good for you! I'm using an app to track my food, too. It really helps me see what I think I'm eating vs. what I'm actually eating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a good recipe, having written it for this post we decided to have it for supper the other night. Tracking one's food is essential I think.

      Delete
  3. Well done on a wonderful post , that recipe looks good.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Umm, the pork dish looks great! Lots of good advice in your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been at this weight loss stuff for a long time.

      Delete
  5. Great post. I have just learned the benefits of the CPAP machine. My daughter and good friend have had amazing results. I, too , need to start a more healthy life style. This might be the impetus I need.

    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One needs something to give a kick start, not sure what it was for me this year.

      Delete
  6. Lots of great advice here. I'm about to get my rowing machine out of storage. Love it. I love running and walking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Won't do you any good in storage. I used to enjoy walking a lot.

      Delete
  7. Walking is really beneficial and almost anyone can do it.
    Thanks for participating in our bloghop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am getting better at walking on my treadmill. Taking a while.

      Thanks for hosting it.

      Delete
  8. All great advice, I'm so glad you are feeling better and your breathing machine is helping. I know what it's like to drag through the day, makes all those good things nearly impossible!

    Great recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't really drag Yolanda, just fell asleep every afternoon and missed most of the day.

      Delete
  9. I'm glad to see Tai Chi! I used to do this a lot in my living room. I'll have to fust off the DVDs and get back into Tai Chi this week.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you use for fusting, a fuster? LOL. I haven't a lot of space to do T'ai Chi any more, but I still try.

      Delete
  10. Writing everything down is a fantastic way to see what you're doing right as well as wrong - the online programmes give you even more info about fat and sugar percentages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is one of the best ways to control your consumption.

      Delete
  11. I love the idea of T'ai Chi-- I didn't realize you could get a video for that. I know a number of people who practice it regularly and it seems like such a good exercise from the inside out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can get all kinds of videos, but as I said in my post, a good sifu is much better. I found it very difficult to teach myself. There are things in T'ai Chi which you wouldn't pick up from a video.

      Delete
  12. Oh Jo, I feel you. I wrote on my blog today about losing 67 pounds and maintaining it for several years. It is not easy, but it is doable. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I lost 56 lbs before I came to Canada, on Weight Watchers, but wherever I lost it, I found it again.

      Delete
  13. Hi, Jo. CONGRATS on losing 16 pounds! That is something to be proud of. : ) I've struggled with weight most of my life. I've heard lots of good things about Tai Chi and plan on giving it a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think T'ai Chi is great as you will gather.

      I've struggled too. Right now I am stuck and my weight hasn't changed for weeks, however, my clothes are getting looser so that is encouraging.

      Delete
  14. Great job being so persistent in your efforts! I find that Yoga is amazing for fitness and well-being, but have never tried that Tai-chi (sp?). I do walk a LOT, now that I can.
    I also just found out that I have sleep apnea, but don't get my machine until 6/18. Medicine moves slowly here...I don't gasp for air, so it was a complete surprise. I'm looking forward to feeling better than I already do!
    Tina @ Life is Good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't really know I gasped for air either Tina, knew I snored. In fact I have now discovered, having a machine, that I do gasp for air periodically.

      Delete
  15. I agree that keeping a journal is helpful, I use My Fitness Pal, I hadn't heard of FitDay before. Glad you keep going and I wish you the best of luck.

    I have to try your recipe, it looks yummy :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, to me a journal is a prime key to weight loss.
      Good luck to you too.

      Delete
  16. Journals are great at keeping you honest about what you've put in your mouth each day. We don't always remember all the things we nibble on, lol!

    I don't use margarine at all because of all the additives--ditto on most processed foods. I use butter and olive oil. Peanut oil for stir fry. Same with sugar substitutes--most make me ill. So far Turbanado and Stevia don't hurt me but I still prefer to use sugar or honey. Much less painful and I LOVE veggies--I like to use lots of colorful veggies and fruits. Satisfies the eyes and the flavoids make the body happy.

    I put on 45 lbs when I got so sick a couple of years ago. I've dropped 20 of that, yip. It was gradual. I love putting on clothes that were tight or didn't fit last year but fit or are loose now.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Sia.

      In Canada we have stuff called Becel which is an excellent margarine and not full of additives. When I am in the States I use the one that's made of Yoghurt, can't remember what it's called. Hardly use sugar at all anyway, neither of us have a sweet tooth.

      It's great when your clothes start fitting again isn't it.

      Delete
  17. That recipe looks really good! I've definitely tried to exercise more.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am unable to walk much these days but trying to improve that.

      Delete
  18. Hi, Jo,

    Glad to see you at this blogfest. Fitness and a healthy diet is for everyone. I love the fact that you studied Tai Chi and are knowledgeable about nutrition. FIT DAY sounds awesome. And it is true. I know I would be SHOCKED to know how much useless calories I consume. BUT mine are mostly from all the almonds I crunch throughout the day. LOL. I work them off though with my crazy exercise routine. BUT we do what works for us ... even if it's a half hour walk three times a week.

    I LOVE to walk. Summer is wonderful on the Chicago lakefront and a day doesn't go by without me trekking along for about four to five miles round trip. It clears the mind and it's easy on the joints.

    Stay well and THANKS for participating in the HOP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michael and thanks for dropping in and thanks for hosting this HOP. Nuts are supposed to be good for you, but in moderation I guess. Wish I could still walk any distance. Maybe I will get there again.

      Delete
  19. That recipe looks good even if we can't see the carrot! I love asparagus too, it's another super food. (Most super foods are easy to get: oranges, brocolli, bananas, greens, apples, almonds, whole grains, blueberries, etc.)

    Bravo for you to keep trying some form of exercise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We grated some more carrot on the next day, looked much better. I eat asparagus every day during the season, I have to go so long without it. Just picked up some golden mangoes, I love them.

      Delete
  20. My neighbor swears by Curves and goes all the time. We have a treadmill and I do better working out at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to enjoy Curves, but my legs decided to give me problems so I had to quit. It really is a great and yet easy form of exercise.

      Delete
  21. Hi Jo, thanks for the link to Fit Day - I think I shall be hopping from here over to there!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope it works for you, I have been using it since the end of Jan. and it has been very helpful to me.

      Delete
  22. Wow, the pork and black beans looks so good. I will give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can certainly recommend it.

      Delete
  23. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious and keeping a journal is a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is and whenever I diet I like to keep a journal. If only I stuck to it forever

      Delete
  24. The malls near me are opened for walking. I think that's a great thing since the winters here can be bad. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure where you are Cherie, but the winters here are bad too and the malls are open for walking. Great idea.

      You're welcome.

      Delete
  25. Is there no Curves for Dragons and Dwarves? Too bad. I'm still looking for a suitable Sifu. They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Maybe I'm not ready yet. I'll try later. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about tossing dwarves, sounds like good exercise. Like I said, wish I lived nearer, I could teach you.

      Delete
  26. I love that recipe. I will have to try it. I eat a lot of black beans. I have never done a weight loss program. Just read a lot and incorporate what I have learned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like black beans, I like cannelloni beans too. Good way to do it Ruth.

      Delete