Tag Archives: vegetables

Final Day of the Challenge!

Yes, yes . . . the final 30-Day Challenge post has come. But don’t fret, I will still be blogging about food choices and recipes, reviewing new food items, and, of course, filling you in on my exercise progress. But before I give you a run-down of what I have learned, let’s go over yesterday’s meals.

Breakfast was two slices of whole grain bread with about 1 Tbsp. of almond butter and 1/2 Tbsp. of jam on each. I also had some more green grapes and blueberries. Can you tell what fruit was on sale this week? (;

I had a ton of work to do in the morning and time just flew! So, when 2 p.m. rolled around and I realized I had not yet eaten lunch, I decided to roast a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables in the oven. Everything you see is frozen except for the portobello mushrooms; those were left over from when Dan marinated them the other day. I threw a bit of olive oil on top, put the oven on 425 degrees and roasted them for about 12 minutes. I sliced some Trader Joe’s teriyaki-flavored baked tofu and put it on the side.

After lunch, I did some more work, and then went for a walk with my sister around 4 p.m. We walked (and talked) through some serious hills — yep, the one-miler! — for a little more than an hour. It was good to get out and sweat and, of course, spend some time with my sister. I will miss those impromptu walks when I move. ):

Dinner was a Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella veggie patty on two slices of whole grain bread. I added about 1 Tbsp. each of ketchup and Lemonaise Light, along with a few leaves of Boston bibb lettuce. This was the first time I tried this kind of Boca patty, and I really enjoyed it. I was hoping for some bigger chunks of mushrooms in the patty — I love them! — but there was a really great mushroom taste to make up for it.

So, that’s it! My last day of the Challenge. But don’t think that the everyday “challenge” stops here. I will continue to work toward living a healthy life, and I will be sure to share it here with you. But, in the mean time, a few things I have learned along the way:

1.) Portions, portions, portions! I was much more conscious of portion sizes when I knew I was going to be sharing my dietary habits with the World Wide Web. Even when I splurged, I tried to watch what I was eating for the rest of the day and/or limit my intake of whatever it was I was enjoying — except for those dang s’mores! It’s a factor I am still working on, but this experience helped me to pay more attention before digging in.

2.) Fitness is key. At least, for me it is. On the days that I got up and got moving, I ate better, was more focused at work, felt better and slept sounder. I already knew all of these things, but the Challenge helped me to reaffirm the importance of physical activity in my daily life. Even if I take a break from computer work and only go for a 10-minute walk, it helps me. I do wish, however, that I would have shared more of it with you. I feel like I was so focused on food, food, food, that I missed the emphasis on exercise in the process. Perhaps, I will to share more of that with you over the next few weeks . . .

3.) More fruit and vegetables. Seeing all of my meals on display throughout the last 30+ days has really allowed me to see food aspects that I still need to improve. For example, when I see a day with little or no color, I know that I really skimped on fruits and vegetables. I may not have eaten unhealthy per say, but I did lack produce. This is one thing I am still working on which, technically, should not be too hard because I love fruits and veggies. I will keep you posted on that progress!

So, I am curious: What is one of the best changes you have ever made? Let me know, and we can chat about it in the “Comments” section of this post.

Ready to take on a new change? Check out First30Days and make the change of your choice, including “Go Green,” “Dealing with Depression” and “Living Healthier.” Want to read about it? I am loving Ariane De Bonvoisin’s The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More).

Well, I am saying so long to the Challenge, but hello to a healthier life! I look forward to continue sharing with you all of my efforts toward a better, well, . . . me! So, stay tuned. (:



Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Busy Being Green And, Well, . . . Busy.

Before I start, I must first apologize for being such a horrible blogger this week. These last few days have been the kind of days where everything begins to blur together, and when you reflect on your activities you think, “Really? That was this morning?”

I have been really busy.

But no excuses. I just wanted to explain my situation a bit.

Anyhoo, I promised you a juice recipe and here it is. I borrowed this one from The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. I have to be honest, this Green Lemonade takes some getting used to. But once you have had it a couple of times, it begins to wear on you and is really quite refreshing:

Makes 1 serving

1 head romaine lettuce or celery

5 to 6 stalks kale (any type)

1 to 2 apples (as needed for sweetness — I used two! Try organic Pink Lady or Fuji apples)

1 whole organic lemon (You don’t have to peel it)

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (optional)

Process the vegetables through the juicer by admitting one vegetable at a time through the mouth of the juicer. The fiber will shoot out of the juicer into one container while the sprout will eject the fresh juice into another container. Pour into a large glass and drink! Notice how the lemon really cuts out the “green” taste that most people try to avoid.

And wait just a minute . . . Don’t think I forgot about all of you who do not have a juicer to use at your disposal!

Here is a recipe for a greens drink that can be made in your blender. This one, which was featured on Oprah, is concocted by Dr. Mehmet Oz. The ingredients are fairly similar to the recipe I have posted above, but everything just goes into a blender instead:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups cucumber
  • 1 head of celery
  • 1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 apples
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

After everything is combined in a blender, this recipe makes 28 to 30 ounces—about three to four servings. Oprah has said, “It’s a glass of fresh.”

Let me know what you think of these green beverages. They look rather questionable, but turn out to be quite tasty. What’s more, the enzymes that you are getting from the fruits and vegetables are extremely beneficial to your well-being!

Enjoy. (:


Filed under April 2008, Eat

Health Check for The Day!

grains-2.jpgDid you know? People who frequently eat high-fiber foods have a more positive outlook on life and are less likely to have symptoms of depression than people who eat less fiber, according to a new UK study.

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Filed under Eat, March 2008

Are YOU Up for the Challenge?

exercise-buddies-2.jpgI have always found that a buddy, someone to lean on when the crunches get tough, is the best “tool” for any successful exercise or diet plan.

And for those of you who may be looking to lose weight or just to get back in shape, I have found the perfect tool for you and your closest buds!

The 2008 SELF Challenge was recently released online and in their March issue. I have always been a big supporter of the plans that SELF puts together; I love the fact that they really require little work to follow — the eating and exercise plans are completely laid out for you — and it is a regimen that you can follow with friends.

This year’s challenge really tops the ones that I have seen in the past. First of all, the nutritionist, Katherine Brooking, put together a 1,600-calorie food plan that includes easy-to-use blocks which are required to put together meals. Each block — dairy, protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruit and veggies, an one treat — is equivalent to a specific food and portion size. For example, one treat block — the best one! — is equal to 3 Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures or 16 oz. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Light. Even if you are someone like me, who is not necessarily trying to lose weight, but just eat more healthfully, this system is awesome because it allows you to learn how to put together healthy, balanced meals.

The second part of SELF’s Challenge is the exercise. For this aspect of the program, SELF has put together a cardio and strength plan which, for the first month of the program, includes 2 strength and 3 cardio sessions per week. The strength exercises come equipped with tear-out cards that include instructions, and no fancy equipment is required — just a pair of 3 to 10 lb. free weights.

As for the cardio, the thrice-weekly sessions are 25 minutes each and vary in intensities. For example one cardio workout is called “Get Slim, Gain Energy” and uses different intensities to build endurance. SELF also includes 1-minute “Bonus Burners,” such as jumping rope, which burns thirteen calories per minute.

The online portion of the program also includes down loadable video and MP3 workouts, food and exercise diaries for you to keep track of meals and workouts, and a progress chart where you can document your starting weight, measurements and ability to do exercises, such as push ups. That way, as you continue on with the program, you will be able to track your weight and health progress.

I signed up for the program today,and signed the Challenge Pledge — because putting it in writing always makes it more official! My goals this month are to get stronger and increase my endurance. What I am saying here is that I would like to be able to do more than 2 3/4 push ups, people!!

I also think that the Challenge will help me to continue to be motivated to get out there and get moving. What’s more, it could not come at a better time, seeing as how my family, friends, this community and I are preparing to participate in the 2008 Pittsburgh Race for the Cure (see sidebar for more information about our team and how to join).

I hope that each one of you, too, will sign on for the challenge. No matter what our individual health or weight loss goals are I think it is fabulous that we can use a forum such as this to support each other in our combined goal for healthier lives.

Now, get goin’!


Filed under Eat, March 2008, Run

Organic for the Cheapos — Like Me!

apple.jpg I am always looking for a bargain. And when it comes to food, I would totally love to be able to eat organic and keep it on the cheap side. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s better for you, it’s better for the earth — it’s a good deal all the way around.

But, unfortunately, organic food can be pricey and I don’t have the dough to always be buying produce of the luxurious kind.

So, you can imagine I was totally psyched when I saw an article on MSN this morning that talked about the Top 12 Foods to Eat Organic.

According to the article, the Top 12 Foods are as follows:

  • Beef – According to the Environmental Protection Agency, meat contains higher levels of pesticides than any plant foods.
  • Milk – Hormones, antibiotics, ewww!
  • Coffee – Buy Fair Trade beans which ensures that no pesticides and chemicals were used, and that farm workers were treated fairly.
  • Peaches – Forty-five different pesticides are used on these babies!
  • Apples – Organic apples are chemical free, and taste sweeter. — Yum!
  • Green Peppers – One of the most heavily sprayed veggies.
  • Celery – This green vegetable does not even have a skin to protect it from chemicals.
  • Strawberries – FIVE HUNDRED pesticides are used per acre of this fruit crop — need I say more?!
  • Lettuce – This leafy green is contaminated with what are considered the most powerful pesticides used on food.
  • Grapes – The fruit’s skin is so thin that even washing and peeling will not eliminate the pesticides that seep into grapes.
  • Potatoes – Idaho’s best are ranked the highest for pesticide residue.
  • Tomatoes – Chemicals will eventually saturate the whole tomato, again, because of the fruit’s thin skin.

This article really made me think, and I feel a bit better knowing my options. Unfortunately, at this point in my life everything I put into my body is not going to be organic; it just does not help to balance my checkbook! But if I can eliminate from my diet some of the very obvious sources of chemicals and not break the bank, then I will be happy with that for now.

So, do you think double-fudge, chocolate ice cream is organic, too?




Filed under Eat, February 2008