Calorie

Friday’s Guest: “Tips For Controlling Your Weight As You Age”

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I am SO GLAD today is Friday!  How about you?

A few months back (quite a few, actually!) I was pleasured to connect with Cole Mill’s writing expertise. Although I went MIA for a bit, his blog certainly did not.

So, please take a moment and enjoy his work, “Tips For Controlling Your Weight As You Age.”  It is full of great reminders and tips…especially for the elderly people my age!

Thanks Cole.  I did not forget you!

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Sweet on sweets!

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It seems there are two types of snackers: the sweet tooth-aholic or the salt/carb craver.  Choosing healthy snacks to satisfy either craving does not have to be difficult!  Many times we just need a few fresh ideas.

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It is important to remember those in between meal snacks for our metabolism and strength, especially if you are working out, walking vigorously and exercising daily.  Foods are our fuel and our friends!  Of course, the cleaner, greener and leaner the better.

In case you are fresh out of ideas, here are some simple sweet snacks that are each 50 calories or less!

1. Kellogg’s Bite Size Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats  (I love these!)

These super-tasty sweet treats feature a satisfying crunch (it helps that whole grain wheat is the first ingredient). Six Mini-Wheats will cost you just 47 calories–and you’ll get a gram of filling fiber, too.

Nutrition facts for six Mini-Wheats: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

2. Antioxidant-Rich Fruit: Raspberries

Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, raspberries are among the Cleveland Clinic’s list of 40 best foods for heart health. Research suggests they help lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol, plus they’ll tide you over as a delicious snack.

Nutrition facts for 3/4 cup raspberries: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

3. Light and tasty Popsicle.  You’ll get 15 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in one 50-calorie frozen pop. Pick from yummy cherry, grape, and tropical flavors.

Nutrition facts for one bar: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

4. Low-calorie ice cream treat.  Yes, even a root beer float!

Pour fizzy diet root beer over 1/4 cup of light vanilla ice cream for a treat that will take you back to your youth. Toss your glass in the freezer 10 minutes before dishing for the full frosty effect.

Nutrition facts for one root beer float: 50 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium

5. Jell-O sugar free cup with cool whip

Single-serving containers of Jell-O make calorie counting oh-so-easy! The gelatin has just 10 calories, the whipped topping adds 25.

Nutrition facts for Jell-O with Cool Whip: 35 calories, 2 g fat (2 g sat fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium

6. A fresh piece of fruit, such as a high-fiber peach.

Increasing your fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day) can significantly lower your heart disease risk, and a peach provides nearly 2 grams. For a special treat, cut one in half and grill both sides to caramelize the natural sugars.

Nutrition facts for one peach: 38 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

7. Tea with Sugar

Calorie-free white, black, red, and green teas have all been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants, which help ward off disease. Add a dash of sugar or tsp of honey to sweeten things!

Nutrition facts for a cup of tea: 0 calories, 0 g fat, mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

8. Mott’s No-Sugar-Added Healthy Harvest Applesauce

This tasty fruit-filled applesauce kicks up your vitamin C quotient: Each 50-calorie snack cup provides 25 percent of your daily needs.  As an extra bonus, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  🙂

Nutrition facts for one snack cup: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

9. Decadent Chocolate Treat!  Dove Dark Chocolate Promise

Sometimes all you need is one decadent bite of really good chocolate. Plus, the dark kind is full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts for one chocolate: 42 calories, 3 g fat (1 g sat fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

10. Quaker Quakes Caramel Corn Rice Snacks

Pop five of these mini rice snacks in your mouth and you’ll forget you’re dieting. The sweet crunch comes without fat or cholesterol and is delightfully low in sugar, too.

Nutrition facts for five rice cakes: 43 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium

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Bonus #11:  Swiss Miss Fat-Free Hot Cocoa with Calcium

The antioxidant level in cocoa is even higher than in red wine. Plus, one mug provides as much calcium as a glass of milk. Add a cinnamon stir stick for no additional calories.

Nutrition facts for one mug: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

Bonus #12:  Why not try Shakeology?  Truly, this is my healthiest meal of the day.  Replace one meal with Shakeology to help you lose weight, reduce cravings (I have found it increases my cravings for healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables), feel energized, and improve digestion and regularity.

I think I am going to grab some Mini-Wheats and get back to work now.

Wishing you a sweet day,

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P.S. If you are interested in checking out all the flavors of Shakeology, including Vegan, you can do that here:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/Dbluuendy?bctid=29768318001

The Ascent: Climbing that Mountain!

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I am so happy right now!  Why?  My husband has told me for the past two days how pretty I look, repeatedly has asked me what did I do different, on and on.  This morning he commented that I am “getting skinny” and he sees the difference “in my face.”  Wow.  Looking back through photographs, I see (and cringe) that I had developed a “fat face.”  More like, “wino” cheeks.  If I offend anyone by using “fat” terms here, I somewhat apologize, but it is what it is: truth.  Over the past couple years I had gained a whopping 30-plus pounds!  Put that on a 5’3″ frame, trust me it is noticeable!

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My husband is the sweetest man.  He has NEVER told me I was heavy, I was gaining weight, that I looked fat, or that I was no longer appealing to him.  Did I mention that he is also a very smart man!  We know the truth when we look in the mirror, don’t we?  We see ourselves naked after stepping out the shower and it feels awful when we can no longer fit comfortably into our clothes, or at all.  It’s not so funny after awhile when we have to graduate into “big girl” jeans and joke about it to family or friends.  We know and we want to hide.  The worst thing possible would be hearing it from others.

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My husband spoke such encouragement to me this morning by choosing the right words to cheer me on: he complimented the changes rather than remarked about my past weight.  I am so very blessed.  I will FOREVER remember the words he chose to coach me forward with my goals.

The ascent is so worth the painful steps, and the most important step is making a decision for change.  Have you considered taking that first baby step yet?  I promise you, you will never regret it or turn back.  The long-term benefits to your health far outweigh immediate gratification.

I encourage you to consider these ten steps for changes you desire.  This is where I started:

1.  Step on the scale first thing in the morning and note your weight.  Wait two weeks or try to be patient and wait until 30 days have passed to weigh yourself again.

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2.  Take your measurements (chest, both arms, waist, hips and both thighs).

3.  Use a calendar and a journal- document your weight and measurements and pick a start day (why not today?) for a 30-day goal.  (Set 30-day increment goals and watch what happens!)  *Be consistent, this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix plan.

4.  Track your calories!  Do not approximate!  Write down your meals and snacks in a journal, or rather, grab a free application for your smart phone or computer.  It really does not take much extra time and is such a very important tool.  From here you can determine calorie allowance based on your body and weight loss desires.

5.   Exercise!  Preferably, pick something you enjoy.  Try to get in 30 minutes every day.  Yes, every day.  But, listen to your body.  If you are really tired out or sore, give yourself a rest, but do try to work through muscle soreness.  If you cannot get to the gym or afford a gym membership, why not try some fitness DVD’s you can use at home?  Consider walking.  Grab a workout buddy.  Move and stretch each and every day and journal how you feel and also how you sleep.

6.  Drink your water.  Hydrate daily.

7.  Do not give up!  If you have a down day, dust off and begin again.  Never feel or be defeated.

8.  Remember the six meal rule: Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner, evening snack.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.

9. Watch your alcohol intake!  (See my story here: http://wp.me/p35YUS-wT)

10.  Allow a flex meal per week AND make time to relax!  Remember also how important sleep is to your weight loss program.

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Lastly, seriously consider joining a challenge group (http://wp.me/P35YUS-gz).  The accountability, intimacy, coaching and friendships built have been priceless tools for my success, as well as so many others I have met along my journey, and I have no doubt they would also benefit you with your goals.

In ending, I am celebrating.  Since I have been involved with a challenge group, changed my eating habits and wine consumption, added Shakeology to my diet and consistently make exercise a part of my life, I have lost over 16 pounds since the beginning of this year and I feel FABULOUS!  My RA pain levels have disappeared and I have so much energy.  I am the product of the product, thus I am sharing with you!

Climb that mountain, I dare you!

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Craving salt?

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I have to admit, salt is my weakness.  I love salt and extra-extra salt!  I have found the older I have gotten the more salt and spicy foods I crave.  This led me to do some research.  There is indeed a valid reason behind this: as we age, like all the other cells in the body, those special sensory cells that make up the taste buds eventually wear out. As we get older, the taste buds begin to disappear from the sides and roof of the mouth, leaving taste buds mostly on our tongue.  To avoid excessive use of salt, I have added a few more spices into my diet, cooking and as toppings.

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Here are some great salty healthy snacks I am sharing with you salt lovers to start your week:

Tip:  Remember to drink an 8-ounce glass of water with your salty snacks to reduce water retention and bloating salt can trigger.

1.  How about a handful of low-sodium pretzels?  Pretzels are every dieter’s best friend, a light and crunchy snack food.

2. Nuts.  Most nuts are high in fat, but eating just a small serving of walnuts, peanuts and almonds can keep your cravings under control and even serves as a source of healthy fat. They are also high in protein.

3. With movie or without popcorn! Instead of buying microwavable popcorn, why not try making your own with coconut oil?  Add a variety of toppings for fun.  Popcorn is a great way to steer clear of unhealthy foods and get your salty-food fix. Snacking on popcorn is a great replacement for potato chips or other unhealthy food and is a good source of fiber.

4. Soy crisps/crackers.  Soy crisps are very low in calories and available in a variety of flavors. You can eat these just like regular potato chips and do it without the guilt!  My husband and I especially like the Trader Joe’s thin soy crisps.

5.  Low-fat crackers.  Enjoy a handful of Triscuits, Wheat Thins or other low-fat crackers that contain less than 150 calories per serving. These crackers are also great with salsa and other fat-free dips if you want to further satisfy your craving.

6.  Cheese!  My favorite snack in the world, but requires self-control!  How about reaching for a low-fat string cheese when you’re having strong cravings for cheese. String cheese is packed with protein and can take care of almost any salty craving; plus, most types of low-fat string cheese contain less than 100 calories per serving.

7.  My next favorite salty snack: roasted pumpkin seeds!  Pumpkins seeds are a great source of fiber, and also contain a significant amount of iron, magnesium and protein. Add these to your daily menu to enjoy a low-calorie, guilt-free snack and get through any diet day with ease.  Stick to the “small handful rule” and put that bag of seeds away!  These are very easy to consume by the bowl-full!

8.  How about edamame?  Edamame are whole green soybeans that are rich in fiber, potassium and other essential vitamins and minerals. These are a great low-calorie snack food that can take care of those salty cravings in a jiffy.

9. Veggie sticks and hummus.  Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, or even try making your own.  Hummus is a spread or dip that’s made with a base of chickpeas and some olive oil, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats.  Pickles and olives are also wonderful salty dip tools!

10. Chips and salsa.  Try baked chips, blue tortilla chips, or pita chips.

Bonus: Have an avocado!  Just add some sea salt, pepper and other spices if you wish.

Have a great Monday!

Wendy