Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Easy, nutritious, 1 minute flax muffins

I eat these flax muffins almost every morning:
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 egg whites (use 1 whole egg if you prefer)
optional: sweetener such as agave nectar, honey, or stevia can be added to taste

Mix the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for one minute on high. Enjoy!

I like to make a mix and keep it in a glass jar in the fridge. That way, you can just add the egg whites in the morning and cook.
Here's a recipe for a 1 pound sack of flax meal.
in a large bowl thoroughly mix:
1 pound flax meal (28 servings)
4.6 oz. cinnamon (about 19-20 tablespoons)
9 tablespoons olive oil

place 1/4 cup muffin mix in a bow. Add 2 egg whites and combine. Cook for 1 minute on high.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My exercise plan: a look at my week

The biggest weight loss tip I have is to exercise more than you think you can. I started out walking 2 miles in the morning and attempting to make it through an entire exercise dvd in the afternoon, which took several weeks to accomplish. The first time I rode the exercise bike, I only lasted 10 minutes. If I can start that slowly-at age 53- and work up to being able to run-you can too.
Here is my typical week of exercise now.
Monday-my run day.
     Morning: I warm up by riding the exercise bike for 2 or 3 minutes, stretching, then walking half a mile. Then I run 1 1/2 miles, finishing up with a 2 mile walk. That's 4 miles total.
     Evening: 60 minute total body toning video by Brooke Burke-many, many, many squats, repetitions with weights for my arms, hard abdominal session. I am still working on some of those moves. This is the hardest video I do.
Tuesday Morning: walk 4 miles
              Evening: Denise Austin cardio blast or a dance video.  45 minutes. These are my easiest videos.
Wednesday Morning: 6-7 mile walk
              Evening: exercise bike for 35 minutes or do another video like "Biggest Loser Workout"
Thursday Morning: run day-same as Monday
              Evening: Brooke Burke video
Friday-same as Tuesday
Saturday Morning: 7 mile walk
              Evening: REST! no exercise until Monday morning.
Sunday is always a day of rest.

If I have a rushed afternoon, or have an event to go to, I increase my morning walk to 7 miles and take the afternoon off.
Also, my sister and nieces have been joining me most afternoons for the exercise video workout. It is nice for me to have their company-a very good incentive.

I try to plan my daily activities around these exercise sessions. If I were not retired, I guess I would have to do longer sessions but only once a day. I would try to involve the children in some of that exercise activity if I could. At this stage in my life,  my entire family eats the way I eat now. I don't have to have two menus. If you have small children, you would have to incorporate more of the foods they need but I think you could still cook one meal for everyone. I think you could just add more carbs as side dishes for them. I've never believed in having a different menu for the children. Trying to exercise this intensely while working, and having small children would certainly be a challenge. My suggestion is to get up earlier than they do, and exercise then. Easy for me to say, right?

If you have any tips or words of encouragement, please leave me a comment.If you don't have a blogger account, just post as "anonymous" and add your name to your comment. I'd like to hear from everyone.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Changing the way we eat around here

My plan to lose weight:
I originally planned my day around the idea that I would eat 1200 calories of food that was low on the glycemic index. That meant vegetables, no simple carbs, lean meat, egg whites, and a little dairy. That did cause me to lose weight very quickly. Because I made it my policy to exercise fairly intensively twice every day, I learned that 1200 calories isn't enough food. After about a month and a half, I found that I could add a few things to my diet, so I added more milk, another fruit and a small glass of red wine. I tried to balance my diet so that I was eating enough good food. I wanted to eat exactly what my body needed every day. I've found that I eat according to a basic plan but keep things flexible because we like to eat out in restaurants, at church and at family gatherings. I also wanted to eat what was freshly grown in my garden. And...I love meat.
Every day I eat:
3 glasses of 1% milk
1 cup organic plain yogurt
2 fruits
3 meals with protein
2 snacks with protein
unlimited vegetables and olive oil
flax meal
2 tsp cinnamon (for helping control blood sugar levels)
4 oz. merlot
2 servings of nuts
1 good cup of coffee (that means strong, with evaporated milk)

If we eat out:
Mike and I share a plate or
I take half of mine home for my daughter or
I eat the main meat entree and skip the rice and chips or pasta
I mainly choose chicken or fish
Every month we eat a ribeye steak, just a smaller portion than we used to eat

I haven't been good about adding grains back in my diet but I am working on it. I have an occasional serving of whole wheat pasta or brown rice but I should have some every day.

I do not count calories and I do not like to be hungry!
I have been eating this way for about 3 months and I have lost about 10 pounds per month.

Here is a typical day for me:
coffee with about 2 tablespoons evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (the ingredients are peanuts and salt) and a fruit (usually a medium apple or plum) as a pre exercise snack
Take my 4 mile walk. Once or twice a week I walk 6-7 miles. I recently have been running 1 1/2 miles twice a week as part of my 4 mile walk
Flax meal "muffin" with egg whites and cinnamon, 8 oz. milk
lunch-leftovers or a serving of meat with vegetables or salad. I don't use any salad dressing. I would rather have a little cheese,  one glass milk
exercise at 3 o'clock-from a dvd or exercise machine for 45-60 minutes
1 glass milk, 1 serving almonds or walnuts as a snack
4 oz. merlot
supper-lots of vegetables roasted with olive oil and salt. Lean meat, 1 cup plain organic yogurt with a serving of fruit. I like peaches or necarines or strawberries with my yogurt.

I don't want to know the calorie count. It is probably pretty high but I do 2 exercise sessions and am still losing weight, so I am okay.

I think a really good part of eating like this is the fact that I can eat this way every day, for the rest of my life, and be completely satisfied. I can treat myself at family gatherings and have some dessert or fried food and no harm is done.

Next, I will tell about my exercise plan. (I've had to buy new clothes 3 times in the last 4 months)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Incentive for my lifestyle change

The results of this blood test, taken in March, are the reason that I made some changes to my lifestyle. The doctor suggested I go on a medical "partial fast". That would consist of 4 prescription shakes a day plus one meal-a Lean Cuisine. I would lose 50 pounds in a few months and then maintain that weight with 1200 calories a day for the rest of my life.  He guaranteed that my bloodwork would return to normal and I wouldn't become a diabetic. I left the doctor's office feeling very hopeless. Live on prescription shakes for 3 or 4 months and then suddenly deal with real food and stick to 1200 calories? Sound good to you? After a few hours, I realized that I could do this on my own in a much better, healthier way. I couldn't wrap my head around his medical advice so...I didn't follow it! I happen to think he gave me unsound advice. I am not a doctor, and I am not a nutritionist but I think my plan has worked very well, and I have been very healthy and have more energy than I ever have. I can't imagine following the partial fast and putting all those artificial things into my body. I want to live in the real world, with real food, and be able to eat a healthier way for the rest of my life. So many people have asked me to explain what I was doing and how I was eating. I thought I would spell it all out here for anyone who wants to read the whole story. I told the doctor to give me 6 weeks and then we would see if I had even made a step in the right direction.

After 6 weeks, I returned for a second blood test. My goal was to have lost 10 pounds. (I prayed for 15 though). I started following a diet based on the glycemic index. I chose foods that were low on the index so that my blood sugar would remain level and spike. I was going to fight my insulin resistance by eating this way and exercising to lose my belly fat. I chose to exercise 45 minutes twice a day. I also counted calories at first and stuck to 1200. The doctor told me that amount would maintain 140 pounds so I thought I would get used to eating that amount of calories. I got these results back:

This is super good news! Not only had a lot of these numbers returned to normal, but I had also lost 24 pounds. I received a note from the doctor saying to continue this program and return in 6 months.

Over the next few months, I continued to exercise. I'm entering into my 4th month now and I've started running twice a week. Yesterday I ran 1.3 miles without stopping. I then walked another 2 1/2 miles and finished with a .3 mile run. I wanted to say that I ran a mile and a half.
I exercise twice a day still, and follow the glycemic index, but I no longer count calories., I will outline how I eat in detail soon. I just wanted to tell how and why I got started.

Here I am after my walk/run yesterday morning. I have now lost 40 pounds. I'm still losing very quickly but know that it will even out soon and I will start maintaining my weight. Let me tell you this, it takes a lot more than 1200 calories for me now.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Congratulations Debbie and Alan!

Before I post details of my lifestyle changes, I just have to say Congratulations!
to some very dear friends.....on their engagement.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lifestyle changes

I've been busy exercising and working out a great eating plan for me and my family. A "not so good" report from the doctor gave me the incentive to make some lifestyle changes. I've now lost 40 pounds and work out twice a day. I bought size 10 pants 2 weeks ago and I've never worn that size. I want to return to my blog. I miss it! Soon, I will be outlining my plan on this blog. So many people want to know what I'm doing to lose this weight. Instead of explaining it to individuals. I think it will be simpler to tell my story here-for anyone who wants to read it. I'll get busy and post some pictures, my daily menus etc. Hope some of you will be interested in hearing about my daily plan for fitness and good health.

Me at a bachelorette party in March-40 pounds ago