Archive for the ‘lifestyle change’ Category

See and I thought it was because I love junk food and don’t exercise enough. But after reading this article which presents a compelling argument that the traditional eat less/move more  theory does always play out when chemical are in play. Although I don’t like hearing these types of studies because I think they release blame from people’s actions. On the other hand, we all have to be aware of the dangerous implications of the food we are eating.



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Shabbos, it happens every week. When dieting, most people I know chose to ignore the day. I have been one of those people most of my life. Shabbos was always, a free for all, eat drink as much as you want. Limiting would detract from the Shabbos experience. I agreed with that for many years. But when I began to be more serious about weight loss, I knew I had to start adjusting my behaviors.

However, I didn’t want to DIET on Shabbos. Shabbos in its most basic sense is a day of rest. But its more than that it is a day we elevate beyond the physical realm and attain a surreal sense of peace, contentment and joy. And I don’t know of any more meaningful medium for experiencing that except food.

There has to be more, because if over eating makes me unhealthy than it cant make me truly happy, peaceful or content. So I started thinking to myself how can I limit out limiting.

I went back to my primary principles of dieting which are positive. If I eat all the food I need to eat I won’t have room for bad things.

Here are the strategies I starting employing that really helped:

  1. Add more veggies as a fillers to meals: Unlike week day meals Shabbos meals are different in that they have choices. I often have two or more choices or proteins, and carbs. By adding more veggie options I have more of an opportunity to fill up on vegges.
  2. Start with a clear broth soup: fills you up and just plain delicious.
  3. Eat whole grains:  As much as this hurts sometimes I have cut back on my potato intake and looks toward, buckwheat, brown rice and other options that are simply healthier.
  4. Take a walk: I have tried to get out more on Shabbos, sitting around is not healthy for me or my kids
  5. Make only one dessert: if I only have one I am more conscience of how far it goes over the weekend
  6. Cut the excess: Most meals start with what my husband and I call the never ending salad course. We get straight to the point and eat the food we want (usually the chicken), instead of sitting around eating mindlessly.
  7. Watch how many portions: I don’t pull out a measuring cup like the rest of the week, but I watch how many times I fill my plate.

I don’t think people should get obsessed with dieting to never have a day off. But I think more people are not having that problem, rather they like myself take too many days off. I have been trying to refocus my Shabbos, and remember that it is a spiritual event and maybe edge away from all of the physical manifestations. So that I may enjoy 120 years of Shabbosim.

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Holidays are bad, very very bad. I find it is not so much the extra calories that make a difference over time, but the break in routine is much more harmful. The break in my routine is one way to ensure that I meet my eating goals every day.

For example I have a personal goal to eat 5 servings of veggies every day. Sounds like a lot but I looked up actual serving sizes and found that it is quite doable.

Serving sizes (approximately)

  • ½ cup of vegetables such as tomatoes/cucumber/peppers/etc
  • 1 cup for leafy greens
  • 1 item of fruit

Now in a normal salad or a soup you may be eating 2-5 servings of veggies in one helping. So it is not as hard to make sure I eat 5 servings a day when I am eating regular meals. But holiday times, I’m not eating regularly and I just grabbing what I can when I can. So I came up with three strategies to get myself back into my routine and to continue my personal quest to healthy eating for lose weigh

  1. Eat an Israeli salad with breakfast: unlike American style breakfasts which usually feature eggs and sometimes fruit. I eat at least one of my serving of veggies during breakfast. This  seems to start the entire day right.
  2. Drink at least 2 liters of Water:  when I make sure to get my water, everything else seems to fall into place. I’m not as hungry, I’m less edgy, not to mention … stools.
  3. Eat more yogurt: For some reason the last few weeks, I have had no taste for yogurt. But this protein packed snack is not to be missed. More protein and more calcium makes everyone a happy camper

I hope that these strategies are helpful  to getting back on the wagon after falling off in the rush of the holidays

Tune in for next week when we talk about everyone favorite subject…poo

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Late night snacking. This is one bad habit that I know most people are guilty of. Including me.  Actual very much me. Ok ok I am a late night eater. There is nothing better than snacking away while watching TV or surfing the internet.

But it is really bad, stuffing calories into my mouth mindlessly (just thinking about it makes me wanna drool). But my thighs can’t handle the extra calories so I have to stop. The best way to fix anything is to have a plan, because in the heat of the moment, sense flies out the window.

And so, I finally came up with my “Late night don’t empty the refrigerator stay away from the chocolate snacking plan’.

Here are the strategies I employ:

  1. Make a cup of tea. It pushes the eating impulse off and has very low calories (also its great on winter nights, so cozy)
  2. Grab a fruit. I usually save at least one of my fruit serving for the night knowing I will want to eat something especially sweet. Fruit is sweet and full of fiber and other good things. And since snacking is partially the phsycological need to put something in my mouth, I like to pick a fruit that takes time to eat – like a pomegranate or a pomela.
  3. Eat dried fruit.  It’s super sweet and a great substitute for other fatty and sugary snacks. Although dried fruit is calorie dense, it’s still healthy. At this point in the battle, I rationalize away the extra calories with the additional heath benefits.
  4. Pop some popcorn. It has fiber and that nice crunch, I make sure that its air popped because if its drenched in oil it doesn’t help.
  5. Cut vegetables. Not as appetizing as chocolate or candy but will push off the need to snack. Just know that these things should either be prepared ahead of time for easy snacking. Because one snack is better than two you have to prepare.

I hope these little steps help, because any calories that you can save add up, and little steps like these can make a big difference.

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Now I love cooking TV. What better way to experience food without the calories. Saturday night came by and my husband left me for a poker game, and its just me and youtube. My friends have been gushing about Jamie Oliver (my secret foodie love is Gordon Ramsey) ,  he  is a great cook, his shows are the best. I figured it was time I caught up with humanity.

While surfing the tube, I found this program about how our food harms our lives. I must warn you this is very graphic (especially the autopsy) but well worth the hour or so. 18 brits have to face up to what they eat and what it is doing to their bodies.

After watching it I was very very motivated to return to the values that I try to keep each day, get 5 serving of veggies, whole grains, and exercising. This program is not meant to make people feel bad, in fact I dont think I goes far enough to say how bad fried and fast food are. Jamie is just trying to introduce and create a better aweness of what food does and hoepfully  inspire people to eat better for long and heathier lives.   The best thing baout the program is that its is really created for the average person and provided sensible ideas to problems we all face.  I found the magic bullet suggestion surpisingly helpful .

this is just the first part of 8 but they all worked for me, enjoy.

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I hate Sundays. Why? because its after shabbos. As a religious Jew I observe the day of rest as carefully as possible, which is a wonderful relief from the go go action of the week. Its one of the few time a week I can just chill out with my family, take pleasure walks and not feel rushed. The problem is that it is religiously mandated to eat at least three meals. Halachically what constitutes a meal is ritually washing hands and eating bread. But shabbos meals have gone far far beyond that simple definition into the realms of gorge fests.

All week long I am denying my self the wonderful things and then shabbos comes along and all inhibitions go out the window. Cake, cookies, sweets, meat, soda, you name it is on the table. Now because I am committed to losing weight and being a healthier person I have begun transforming my shabbos meals into healthier options. For example I always have two vegetable options that are low fat, so I eat my meal but make sure that at least half my plate is filled with veggies. I stay away from potatoes making brown rice instead. And we don’t fry anything, eventhough I dream of snitzel.

Yet Sundays are still the problem despite my changes I still know I am over eating, which means Sunday when I go back to measuring my food and no junk is all around a sucky day. I don’t want to limit myself on shabbos yet, its still my release day. But I know that I need to do something because Sundays are unbearable.

Hopefully I will grow into my healthy lifestyle to enjoy special food on shabbos and not overindulge. Like have one cookie and that’s it.

I am just going to keep trying until I get it right

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