Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 1.....Goals

This blog is dedicated to all my friends turning 50, already 50, or anyone just looking for some inspiration for getting healthy. I'm in no way a doctor, nutritionist or health guru. I am a 49 year old woman discovering that age has slowly started to decrease my ability to do the things I love to do and therefore I am taking a 50 week journey to regain what age has tried to take away. My goal is to feel healthier than I ever have by my 50th birthday.

In January 2010 I set a goal for myself to lose 1 pound a week for 52 weeks. By changing my diet, eliminating junk foods, and walking as much as possible, I reached a loss of 48 pounds by December 2010. Now that most of the weight is gone it's time to regain muscle loss and improve overall health through clean eating and exercise.
                                        Me, summer of 2009....Best pic ever! Hahahaha!

                                                   Me, spring of 2011...48 lbs. lighter!

While hiking in Hocking hills Ohio during Easter break, I realized I needed to get in better physical shape if I want to continue doing the things I enjoy, which is hiking and kayaking. Even though I'm not carrying the extra 48 lbs, I still found myself out of breath while climbing hills and pain in my legs. The next day after returning home I joined a gym and after only a few weeks I feel stronger already!
                                       Lots and lots and lots of steps in Hocking hills......

                                                       But so well worth the climb!

                           Just one of the many beautiful waterfalls in Hocking hills state park
                                   that I would have missed if I could no longer hike.

Goal for week 1 is:  Organize Something 
If you're asking yourself "What does this have to do with getting healthy?"
I say, "A healthy mind is the start to a healthy body". If I'm bogged down by clutter I find it difficult to focus. The fridge is a good place to start organizing by removing outdated foods and making room for the "healthy" stuff. Making a shelf in the freezer dedicated to cut up fruit for my smoothies was my first goal. Next, I'll be tackling my spare room to make room for my new easel...No more painting at the kitchen table! Yay! Decluttering to me is like having a brand new clean canvas to start a beautiful painting.

Battling the Sugar Cravings
I grew up in a party store my parents owned for 17 years. Since the age of 10  I had unlimited access to candy, cookies, donuts, Slurpees, you name it. So I naturally developed a huge sweet tooth, not to mention many cavities :(..... I was watching Dr.Oz one day, talk about sugar cravings and the things to do to combat it and he suggested eating more fruit, so I began eating a banana for breakfast every day and an apple in the afternoon. I did see a decrease in my sugar cravings pretty quick but got bored with eating a banana and apple every day so I decided to try an alternative and that's when I became a Smoothie junkie. 
I found this great cup with lid and sturdy straw at the Dollar store for $5....( don't ask me why it's called a dollar store when they sell $5 items) but it was perfect to take on my way to work and enjoy my Smoothie.
To make it as convenient as possible to make one before work, I buy my fruit, wash it, cut it up and put it in freezer bags. I wash out my blender after every use so it's ready for the next "Treat" as I'm calling them, and I'm ready to go. Throw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a little Greek yogurt, 1/2 frozen banana, some other fruit of choice, almond milk, flax seed and I have a delicious sweet treat that's actually healthy and satisfying at the same time.When I'm feeling really adventurous I throw in a handful of spinach leaves, carrot juice, and Acai berry V8 juice for a very tasty and sweet veggie Smoothie. It's really fun coming up with different combos and beautiful colors.
 Now I can have a variety of sweet flavors in a healthy drink and no longer crave the cookies, ice cream and's a miracle!!!
***Note that I only have one smoothie in the morning and maybe a small version later in the day if I feel a craving for something sweet. Even though they are low in fat they are not sugar free and the calories can add up if you drink too many.  

Smoothie recipe: Banana Oatmeal Breakfast smoothie
                                                                            366 calories

  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 2 tbls. quick oatmeal (uncooked) 
  • 1 tbls. almond butter
  • 3 frozen strawberries 
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c no fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp. ground flax seed
  • I like my smoothies extra thick but if you like  yours thinner just add more milk or maybe carrot juice.

Here is a breakdown for smoothie calories

Since everyone makes their own version of smoothies here's a helpful guide to calories:

  • unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze) 1c. =40cal.

  • EAS vanilla whey protein 1 scoop=75cal. 

  • ground flax seed 1 tbls. = 35cal.

  • Chobani no fat greek yogurt 1/2 c. = 70cal.

  • 1/2 banana = 50cal.

  • 1/2 c. melon =32cal.

  • 1/4 c. quick oats uncooked = 75cal.

  • almond butter 1 tbls. = 95cal.

  • 1/2 c. strawberries = 24cal.

  • 1/2 c. blueberries = 41cal.

  • 1/2 c. fresh pineapple = 37cal.

  • 1/2 c. golden delicious apple = 30cal.

  • 1/2 c. fresh pear (about 1/2 medium pear) = 48cal.

  • Acai berry V8 juice 1/2 c. =55cal.

  • 100% carrot juice 1/2c. = 40cal.

  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves = 14cal.

Clean Eating  
When I've dieted in the past, like many, I turned to processed diet foods for their convenience. Lean Cuisine was my go to for many years,but after a while I would get bored and usually go off the diet. I've been reading so much about the junk they put in processed foods that now I'm getting away from all of it and making my own clean and healthy food. Don't get me wrong, I still love to go out to restaurants, but even there I try to make healthier choices such as steamed veggies instead of fries and in most cases, only eat half of my meal and take home the rest for lunch the next day. I know it takes dedication and some extra time to eat clean and processed foods are so convenient, but I've decided to "make" the extra effort by turning the time I use to sit on the couch watching tv into making a nice healthy meal. 
For this chicken salad recipe I bought an already cooked rotisserie chicken and shredded carrots in a bag, threw in the rest of the ingredients and Presto! delicious, clean and healthy meal in just a few minutes.

I used pecans instead of sliced almonds......Delish!!

                                               Healthy fruit & yogurt pops
1/2 cup no fat Greek yogurt
1 cup Acai V8 Fusion juice
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 chopped and peeled yellow apple
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

  Blend in blender till smooth

Pour in Popsicle molds....( I found these at Kroger)
Let freeze then enjoy!
The kids would love these too!

Homemade flavored water
photo and recipe from

For those who can't stand the thought of drinking 8 glasses of plain water every day or if you're like me and don't want to drink diet drinks with Aspartame or all the other junk in diet drinks, try making your own flavored water by the jug full, put in a pretty glass with a straw and enjoy your clean and tasty flavored water.

3 qts. water
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
10 spearmint leaves.
leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and in the morning you'll have a cold and really refreshing drink. 

Clean eating isn't just for grown ups
 I am guilty of feeding my kids lots of processed foods when they were young...shame on me. You can bet my future Grandchildren will be drinking a green smoothie or two ;)
This website has some great recipes for getting the young ones to drink their veggies.

If you would like to share a healthy recipe, tips for getting fit or just say hi I would love to hear from you! This journey is just getting started so lace up the hiking boots and join me, there is so much more to come!

Happy journey!


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